from Issue #8: Poetry by Tony Page

Photo (CC) torbakhopper @ Flickr

Photo (CC) torbakhopper @ Flickr

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King Agamemnon, Athens 2014

Who is this tramp stumbling among the coffee tables?
Dressed as if he’s been thrown off a movie set
clothes in tatters and gashes all over?
Now he’s on his knees,
mesmerized by someone drinking from a glass,
as if he’s never seen such a thing.
A waiter attempts to lift him to his feet
but the poor devil draws a sword

babbling gibberish: A-chi-le-us, Hek-tor, O-di-se-us.
His wailing dismays the diners
and children begin to cry.
When the police arrive he’s quietened down
gazing at the glass once again
as if it were an apparition.

.

*

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Before the War

The air is torpid, trying to ignore history ─
that burden packed away for good.
How the birds sing! commenting on customs
but perched safely above. Gentlemen pause before
clinching their argument, planning which way they
might flee. Shadows across the tables, long late
afternoon with attendant breeze.
A still life on its last legs.

.

*

ABOUT THE POET

TONY PAGE is a Melbourne poet, whose third book, Gateway to the Sphinx (Five Islands) appeared in 2004. He has read his work at the Edinburgh Arts Festival, Venice Conference of Commonwealth Literature, Shakespeare & Co in Paris, plus venues in the USA and Malaysia. As a theatre director, he has mounted productions of Shakespeare, Beckett, Brecht, Pinter etc. plus several of his own collaborations with various student groups. For 20 years, he worked in Thailand and Malaysia, but now lives in Australia. He has also written for the stage, with Who Killed Caravaggio? completed in 2009. He has recently been published in Eureka Street, The Australian Poetry Journal, The Canberra Times, Peril, Plumwood Mountain and Otoliths and is now finalizing a fourth collection of poetry.

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