Michael Sharkey

Terminal Mood:
Bar Ristretto, Mascot

These quiet times (six hours’ space)
between this place and ours:

I’m doing time and reading papers in the lounge,
or strolling in among the smokers’ acrid fumes,

and now this palm and neon courtyard’s full of odours:
scented teas, espresso coffee, tuna sandwiches, Verdelho.

Sky so near null, like a brush, say, dipped in Parker Blue
and shaken in a litre of pure water in a punch-bowl,

subtle mist-haze on a lake: the blue above,
that’s hardly noticed, and so gradual,

like a yawn in conversation, late at night,

or catspaw ripple, barely sigh in wisp of hair.



Michael Sharkey lives at Armidale NSW. His last collection, The Sweeping Plain has been republished this year by Picaro Press. Sharkey writes: “The ‘Bar Ristretto’ poem is one of a series of cafe and restaurant poems, some of which incorporate overheard conversations gleaned in several countries.”