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John Garth Raubenheimer

Who Was Driving?

Once I drove a car with my eyes shut.
I thought God was guiding me.
Turn right... turn left... you're doing fine...
I heard a huge bang as the car
bounced the curb.
In my memory I was alone,
but a friend says my
son
was in the back:
I dedicate this to him, with an apology.

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All Your Wishes Will be Granted

'Where's my dog-food?
I've asked a hundred times.
Where's my can of dog-food? '
a woman demanded,
Friday
at the staff and patients' meeting.
Saturday at lunch
in the stainless-steel canteen
where we queued for our food,
with knife and fork alongside,
a tin of dog-food stood on her tray.

At Tara (mental) Hospital 1981

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Hiroshima

Mother oh Mother
our bark has blistered
our bones weep fire
our branches melt
Mother our eyes
are burning birds
the sun hangs bleeding
beneath our lids
Mother our earth
sucks back its foliage
Mother the sky
is split with pain
in every stone
our fire weeps
in every eye
your children burn
Mother Mother
I am a weeping hand
your breasts
are bone

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Don't Be Angry If I Go Away, Love

Don't be angry if I go away, love
away for a little
into the empty spaces behind my eyes.

I have gone fishing
in the dark spaces,
in the quiet places where the quick stars swim.

But I will be back, love,
I will soon be back,
with a shining salmon to light your house,
with my hands golden with comet-dust,
brimming with the bread of suns.

I will be back, love, I will soon be back.
Don't be angry, love, I will soon be back.

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