Ed Wright


Shrub Talk

The waterman is playing Mozart from his window
And I am relieved
His music has been angry too often

I don’t know why,
Bad vibrations
Is as far as my knowhow goes.

It is Spring and I am wearing my flowers
Pretty pink tubes in clusters
Small fleshy bells with white lacy rims

They are pulling in the birds

A mynah with its yellow beak
Jabs at my blossoms
seeking nectar
Its claws wrap around my branches
And it eats me from upside down.
It hurts more than cats
Yet it is so exquisite knowing
there is renewal,
That I can let myself go, again.


For G.

In a New York shoebox Djuna Barnes grew old and acrimonious and alone,
on purpose, I say, though I don’t see the point of it;
But you in your Darlinghurst room with a bath and a view
of couples canoodling in their lounge rooms or keeping company with the Tv
and of the drunks pissing into the rock garden in the place below,
don’t agree.
The past, a tale of horrors, is all there is, says you.
It’s what this country’s meant to me since the first time I was out of it for long enough
to have remembered what was done. Now I dream only of escapes.
Djuna was happy in Paris, you say, horrible but happy, until things went wrong
and the patterns of the past came back and flattened her.
Elsewhere I was happy once too, you say,
breathing in the Pyrenees I was so alive I didn’t know what to do,
the freedom was almost too much.



Ed Wright is a Sydney writer who often dreams of being elsewhere. His poems and fiction have been published in Meanjin, Ulitarra and Avernus. The Empty Room, a small selection of his poems, was published by Vagabond Press in 2002.