Rae Desmond Jones

Rookie (11 August 1941 / Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia)

Cage Music - Poem by Rae Desmond Jones

On the computer screen
three American marines lie across a road
West of Baghdad,
arms curled as though they were asleep,
the sun bleaching the blonde sand.
I press a button
& they fade into an empty screen.

In the next room,
a man with a nasal paunch
discusses through the radio
the Vietnam war
as though it all happened
at a rock festival on the Isle of Wight
& in the recording studios
of Nashville & London.

When the doorbell rings
the dog paws rattle the floorboards
but I tell the two ASIO men in suits
no I don’t feel the need
for tuition on the bible (thank you

the door closes
but the washing machine purrs & grumbles,
Then stops & an ambulance siren sighs away.
The dog laps his belly then it is quiet.
The silence whispers to me of sand & sky,
The living & the dead.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 16, 2010

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