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Luke Davies

(1962 - / Sydney / Australia)

Selection From 40 Love Poems


Sugar Lee you are the sun today,
Pervasive light and heat, and I
The valley floor, the birch pine slopes,
The snow-capped peaks, transparent sky

Through which you spread, and oh how
My toes are tingling miles away.
Then let us spread this picnic rug;
Come let’s play mortals Sugar Lee.

Come stay a day, come lie an hour,
A lunar month, a solar year;
The world will organise itself the while
I whisper praises in your ear.


Come let’s play mortals Sugar Lee,
That fierce embrace. And all my fear
Of loss, of departure, will dissolve
In the light of your limbs. Come stay an hour,

Or less. And don’t trust any technology,
And even the clocks are lying.
The only thing sure is the pleasure we’ll know
When we’re done with trying

To be polite, to suck all the juice from delay.
The only solution is abandon.
Come I don’t care — come you be the pyre;
And I will be the burned one.


Idea that earth crunches and body repairs
Is idea conceived in love.
Impatience is the only sin.
We all get fidgety but love

Is the medium in which even
Flickers occur, through which tectonically
The spines of mountains stretch. Here today,
Gone next ice age. Ironically

We’re not equipped to deal with this. So
I float through fields of unknowing
Under Spanish clouds, a summer bliss. Oh:
But the Pyrenees still shudder in their glowing.


Across your back
Those freckles strewn
Are every constellation
I have known —

All galaxy and godhead too —
An astronaut would weep
At such a view: as if,
After dreams, in the deep

Heart of dawn, he’d wake
To that expanse, and breathe it in.
Home! O Milky Way!
O milk-white skin!


It’s not that I could sketch the red
Gunwale of the boat
But that what emerges on the other side of red
Could go anywhere: that’s what they call art.

Nor that the white swan over near the bulrushes
Flaps up out of the water terrified
By the barn-owl’s shriek. Nor that the barn-owl wishes
For anything other than its own hard

Cry to shatter the darkening day.
Not the mist moving into the pines beside the lake.
Though all these things are true in their own way —
Without love I am broke.


Oh to lie upon her
Her nakedness is all
I simply orchestrated
That horizontal fall

And had no wrong intentions
And cared about no tree
I simply lay with her
And she with me.

It is all Chinese whispers
It all gets told askew
I simply kissed the lips
That kissed the apple dew.


All that there was was beauty and bluff;
Then a deeper thing grows.
In the coinage of rapture
I will pay you my praise.

You will tell me every story
As we drive; in your eyes
Whole forests will flicker past,
Whole skies, enormous mysteries ...

That beauty can malfunction
Is a given. Love knows
Of all the beauties beyond this.
At every plateau, praise.

Submitted: Thursday, May 03, 2012
Edited: Monday, October 15, 2012

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