Kenneth Slessor

(27 March 1901 – 30 June 1971 / Orange, New South Wales)

To a Friend


ADAM, because on the mind's roads
Your mouth is always in a hurry,
Because you know odes
And ways to make a curry,
Because you fall in love with words
And whistle beauty forth to kiss them,
And blow the tails from China birds
Whilst I continually miss them,
Because you top my angry best
At billiards, fugues or pulling corks out,
And whisk a fritter from its nest
Before there's time to hand the forks out,
Because you saw the Romans wink,
Because your senses dance to metre,
Because, no matter what I drink,
You'll hold at least another litre,
Because you've got a gipsy's eye
That melts the rage of catamountains,
And metaphors that pass me by
Burst from your lips in lovely fountains,
Because you've bitten the harsh foods
Of life, grabbed every dish that passes,
And walked amongst the multitudes
Without the curse of looking-glasses,
Because I burn the selfsame flame
No falls of dirty earth may smother,
Oh, in your Abbey of Thélème,
Enlist me as a serving-brother!

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

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