Learn More

Anthony Burge

Rookie - 0 Points (16/06/1962 / Australia)

Old Man Artist


Old man artist on a hospital gurney

Rattling lungs tell of life’s hard journey

Old man Vincent gasping for air, rattling bones distant stare

Bubbling babbling lungs full of slough

Old man artist Vincent Can Cough

Riverbank Pandanus hangs limp offering shade

Stripped bark and crushed ochre scattered tools of his trade

Does the tannin stained water that flows fast the river

Note his absence on the bank where the spear grass now shivers

Does the red ochre dust that now settles on history

Care where it lands or ponder the mystery

Does the snake that now skates across his Pandanus mat

Recognise the impression where his bony frame sat

Where are his brothers, daughters, mother and sons?

Once one of many of his tribe now but one

Where’s his kinfolk, his tribe his ‘Saltwater’ people

Place of worship his land with the clouds as his steeple

Doctors stand around and jargon above him

I can’t help but wonder where’s those who have loved him

Chocolate brown eyes opened wide knowing fear

Assumes the position on one leg leant on spear

Woomera cocked hunting his dreaming

Chants wailing song only he knows the meaning

If he loses his battle will his song die with him?

Will his art talk the talk or his story walk with him?

Full moons yellow path shone through hospital pane

Draws Vincent home like a moth to the flame

Gargling, gurgling lungs full of gravel

Barefoot on the wind twixt the trees he must travel

To his land where river snakes to the sea

Where his vessel can berth and his soul can drift free

Old man Vincent fought the good fight

Now hunting he goes into starry night.

Submitted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 10, 2013

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Poet's Notes about The Poem

Penned from my hospital bed after sharing space aboard a light aircraft (Careflight) during a journey across Arnhem Land. We stopping to pick up a old man (from Lake Avella) in transit to the Royal Darwin Hospital. Vincent and I shared a room during his short stay.

Comments about this poem (Old Man Artist by Anthony Burge )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  2. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. Behind Closed Doors Once Again, Electric Lady
  5. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  6. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Bluebird, Charles Bukowski
  8. Don't Go Far Off, Pablo Neruda
  9. SAINTS AND SINNERS, Changu Chilwesa
  10. Jiske Dhun Par Duniya Nache, Kumar Vishwas

Poem of the Day

poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

...... Read complete »

   

New Poems

  1. Our Own Experience Overwhelms Us, Shalom Freedman
  2. The Milkmen As The Leaders From Bihar, Bijay Kant Dubey
  3. Karma, Nivedita Patnaik
  4. Spring, Nivedita Patnaik
  5. Reading The Tea-Leaves of My Father..., Frank James Ryan Jr...FjR
  6. Nagasaki ...... [WAR; VERY SHORT; nucle.., Bri Edwards
  7. O My Friend Jerry, Abdulrazak Aralimatti
  8. The Chance, Michael P. McParland
  9. Christmas Eve, Leong Ming Loong
  10. SCROUSE and SCRUMPY, michael walkerjohn
[Hata Bildir]