Poets speaking up to Adani – Stuart Cooke


To be a Cat Curled



Loss is days


the traction of years deflating

the vertical


so that a man, once a pearl in a dark mouth,

becomes sound’s flat plane.


The beating heart is corrosion,

scattering leaves,

butterflies, leaves.


Each mumbling moment.

Each frozen, irretrievable One.


Headlines could be the only things that matter;

the rest is just flesh, flow,


This sense that everything’s

the same and what I see – in the way

a tree emerges or an emu speeds – are the tips

of the freezing.

How to keep pace with the sun?


Never to falter. To be a cat curled

in the corner of a doorway, smiling dreamily.

Can the dream of shade

moving further out across the grass

ever be reconciled

with this tightening stiff of the gut?

On that note, how to follow a poet’s letters

to the memories of childhood

while fixated


upon the streaked darkness, through which

I perpetually, always

without seeing, fall?



Stuart Cooke


‘To be a Cat Curled’ was previously published in Edge Music (Carindale, QLD: Interactive Press, 2011), 15.



Photos in collage from: CSIRO CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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