But today an old photograph called him to mind and I missed not missing him then. The language is achingly spare and plain, but it works, especially when read aloud.by Louise Mc Kenna contains this quote from Albert Einstein: “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” So maybe we should look after them a bit better.
This is from her poem ‘Early Shift’: The world still tilts on the edge of night with a moon like a dissolving aspirin – the hour for sparrows and nurses.
Our footfalls go unheard on floors smooth and unscathed as the skin on milk before we attend your sick bed, banish your fever, lay out your dead.
For example, this is from the title poem: She took delight in their Latinate hum, their industry and rituals, precise as grammar.
She loved their etiquette, their lessons in humanity. Well perhaps hard work, hierarchy, and being absolutely essential.
Armed with a certain ironic detachment, it’s smart, chatty, literary, arty, but humble about it.
Steve Brock’s work shares some to the humorous rambling discursiveness of Ken Bolton’s poetry.
Now the hive is empty – the bees have flown somewhere, perhaps to die and she is queen of a desolate queendom. Not one wing or aureate hair remains, only these halls oozing honey like unguent tears The book begins with bees, but its real focus is life as a nurse. Louise Mc Kenna is employed as a nurse and comes from a fine tradition of Australian poets who have worked as nurses including John West, and Amelia Walker.
The good thing about writing about your work is not only that you know the right names of things, but that you have the observational time to get the full story.
Allowing her to conclude: I missed my father today.
He died forty-four years ago and back then I felt relief more than sorrow.
In my uniform and sensible shoes, time swinging above my heart, I have come to know you like a lover: your every birthmark and scar, the shape of your breasts, whether you are circumcised or not.