Michael Sharkey



In a Silver Age, your hair, at least, is right;
the honeyed tones as well: so lawyer-like.

Your mind and mine encounter other ghosts
we hardly know: two actors, in a film

about a life that might have been: the frame,
and objects, and the characters obscure:

a tram glides in a now-demolished street;
the celluloid already turned to dust,

the script, words hung on insubstantial things,
like shadows in a yarn by M.R. James.

Outside, the smog-blurred ziggurats of cash;
inside the room, the drizzle of low chat,

the scent and cocktails mingled with a twist
of wryly dampened chords: Love in a Mist.



Michael Sharkey’s poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies for many years, and The Sweeping Plain (Five Islands Press, 2007) is the most recent of his several collections. He lives in Armidale, New South Wales, and teaches rhetorical analysis in the School of Arts at the University of New England. Of the present poem, Sharkey writes: "‘Rencontre’ is a sort of tone-poem involving dry martinis, music, chance and time recalled."