Three poems

by Christopher Palmer


Listening like his job depends on it
every call’s an emergency. Navigating by neon
the latest high-rise, ads posing as street art
he hook-turns, U-turns and wrong-turns
zigzagging to be first at every scene
completing a daily dot-to-dot of the inner suburbs.
Conversations are ‘extras’
as he takes those to where they’d rather be
solving a simple equation
where distance, place and time
are a dollar value; questioning the outside
with his eyes: the Look-At-Mes on every corner;
a passer-by who shouts at him
to go back where he came from.


Leaf blower

The council worker herds leaves into a new pile
……..until the gusting wind.
The council worker herds leaves into a new pile
……..until the gusting wind.


Trolley collector

Coin operated, clothes shouting
but invisible, he works, outwardly
emotionless, full of motion
linking the clack and clatter
into long chains to create song
as he collects the used and abused
post-apocalyptic metal skeletons
idling on the tarmac
reassembling the scaffold for consumption
remembering himself under headphones
face steeled, entirely elsewhere

Christopher Palmer’s poetry has been published in eleven countries, including in the Bosphorus Review of Books, The Brasilia Review, The Galway Review, London Grip, Shot Glass Journal, and the Weekend Australian, among others. His first collection Afterlives was published in 2016, and was highly commended in the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards. He lives in Canberra.