Simon West


The Wish

And perhaps they will prove true after all
despite the times you’ve thrown down the pen
or noticed rust stains
eating through the mirror’s film
the frame gone
an edge chipped so that once it cut
and how the vision that only reflected one direction
was never perfectly still.

Remember the way you would cup them stubbornly together
as if you were trying to hold water in the palms of your hands
and time and again felt life slipping through?

Well, perhaps one day they’ll have become a vessel.
They’ll strike you as quaint
like an op shop vase but distilled
by dust and silence
until they say just what they could only ever say
just what you’ll need to hear.

You’ll pay so little
and carry them off with tears in your eyes.
Then out on the street
a car will be crying ‘Wash me!’
and your heart will open wide to its plea.



Daffodils    I say the word
                    and there they are before my eye.

Daffodils    I say the word and yet
                    it neither captures them or stands quite free.

Daffodils    say themselves in pigment pollen stamen
                    green thrust towards, then imitation of the sun.

Daffodils    dipping their heads heavy as bells
                    Daff and Dill climbed up the hill.

Daffodils    I say the word and know I am
                    and know I am no daffodil.



Simon West lives in Melbourne where he lectures in Italian studies at Monash University. His first collection of poetry, First Names, was published with Puncher and Wattmann in Sydney in 2006. It was short-listed for the NSW Premier’s Prize in 2007 and won the William Baylebridge Memorial Prize. He is also a translator of poetry, in the process of finishing The Selected Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti: A Critical Edition in English to be published in 2009.