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Jeff Klooger


Jeff Kloogerís poetry has been published in Australian and international online and print journals. Recently his work has appeared in The Liberal, Harvest, dotdotdash, Words-Myth and Pure Francis. His other interests are music and philosophy. His book on the ideas of the Greek-French philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis was published in 2009.



Bedlam Or Parnassus


Deliberate emotions always elude you, leave you

lost and oceanic. You slop around

in that still private tempest, hugging

the surface of things. Self-diagnosis is

like superstition, a necessary evil.

Though tender words can sometimes soothe

they do not heal. Tonight again you know

the wordless sorrow of beasts.

In that kingdom you can never reach

creatures half fish and half fowl

cavort together, devour their own children,

make merry while the earth heaves up its bile.




It goes on forever, an infinite loop, the dragon swallowing its own tail,

like my arms when they stretch to encompass what I love.

When I look back, all I see are numbers, squirming

as though alive. I imagine some invisible string, tying us together,

guaranteeing our perpetual partnership. Beneath, exposed,

you wave at me. A wave is all

thereís time for, as, swift and efficient,

I shoot into the dark future. My oblique passage

always brings me again into that far-off light. The comfort

of repetition, knowing what comes next

will be what came before. Since everything changes, the madman says,

change is nothing, and nothing so peaceful

as when a monster sleeps. I push again

into the reach, the stretch of muscle and tendon.

The sea-wall is like a prayer for mercy, the centre

a whirlpool, the world a wish

sucked into its swirling heart.




Fat caterpillar souls, wrinkled and wet, glistening

in the new light, we rest because we must, endure

and hope to outlast the morningís sudden bombardment.

Surely sunshine is a blessing, newly discovered and inviting,

familiar as a dream salvaged from darkness.

Gratitude wraps itself around us, like roll upon roll

of swaddling love. Contentment is fuel for fires

that spring like beacons from the earth, lighting the way

for stragglers. Weaving their way home, they turn back for a moment

that lasts forever, succumbing without fuss

to the destiny of their resting state. Incongruous

in the age of long-distance liaisons, undressed by speed,

smoke and undergarments billowing in the wind,

they fumble and pick their halting path

into the future, while shards of incendiary sky

rain down on their shelterless heads.


New Babylon


as in Babylon of old

vast fragrant groves and towers to the sun

unsettle the mind, and stretch our dreams

like finest filigree


the world shows its anatomy

the sunís fingertips, an insectís song

wings aligned like tuning forks

a feast of pecks


a litter of fine patterns tumbles

such confusion

I sprout new senses and ancient organs

grow back where they once belonged


no word commands

but sweet Earth parts her lips

and breathes a benediction

from the underworld







 copyright © Jeff Klooger