Tag Archives: Anne M Carson

Vintage Song by Anne M Carson

St Andrews, Victoria

Grapes move inexorably towards ripeness. Inside the berry,
behind its fleshy walls – the mechanics of veraison. Acid

levels fall, sugars rise, the flesh dehydrates, phenols and
tannins grow fat with flavour. Little factory, humming with

alchemy, broadcasting musky perfume into the autumn
air, wave after waft of sweet enticement. The aromas are

streamers the fruit unfurls into the atmosphere, festooning
the vineyard with the intoxicating odours of harvest. Once,

grapes were blessed before vintage, a priest in regalia
sprinkled holy water over the vines. Vestiges remain of the

blesséd grape; mythic presence, thrum of spirit. Festivities
celebrate the crop – laden tables adorned with grape-leaf

foliage, glasses boasting previous vintages, friends proposing
toasts. Happiness to have the harvest home. Before the feast –

the delicate balance of sugar-levels and picking-friendly
weather. Humans are on hand with measuring devices and

daily readings; instruments and science pick the exact moment.
Birds fly in early with special picking teams, preferring their

grapes on the tart side of sweet. They discern the perfect timing
for their forays with only fragrance to guide them – fine natural

viticulturists, regardless of weather. Scores of Silver Eyes find
tears in the nets, waiting in orderly aerial queues like planes

in airport landing patterns, co-operative and collision-free
without traffic control. Bird after patient bird flies through

holes smaller than a child’s fist, keeping entries separate from
exits. Vociferous local Gang Gangs troupe in for the day,

return home to roost each night. Pied Currawongs become
familiars in daily-ness, arriving en masse to take up temporary

residence. Their vestments are formal. They decorate dusty paths
with brilliant blood-red splats studded with ruby gems; startling

splotches of colour which brighten the dull dun and tan bush.
They announce the season, the readiness of the crop. A single

bird initiates the call, anticipates antiphonal response. It rings
out onomatopoeic; currrawong, currawong, currawong.

Volleys of sound echo the valley; dawn greetings warbled
into pristine cold mornings, chansons chanted into crisp-

skinned days, solos sung into the descending chill of dusk:
beautiful, haunting. Each phrase tapers to eerie vibrato,

finishes with rising intonation. In secular times, the birds
offer the vineyard the simple grace of choral benediction.

Vintage Song by Anne M Carson was commended in the Sentinel Annual Poetry Competition 2015 judged by Afam Akeh

Anne M Carson. Two Poems

Old friends, three elementals

Lake Takepo McKenzie Basin, South Island, New Zealand

 
The wind picks up, playing the pines by the lake-shore – delicate
fingers across filaments. Today they sing a plaintive song, Aeolian
lament to the body of water they have lived by for so long. It’s not

always like that – when the sun shines and turns the lake translucent,
sometimes the wind whips up wavelets – then the trees are loud
with vigour and exclamation. They are old friends, three elementals –

though the wind is a gyspy-spirit and the water an alchemist.
They are familiars familiar with each other’s moods, each other’s
histories; ease of connection emerging from long-standing proximity,

the repetitiveness of daily life. Sometimes the lake dredges up the past;
plunging, writhing, frozen heart. It gets fractious, tosses in its bed,
then settles again into the habit of placidity, the pleasure of flow.

It retains the glorious turquoise depths of its glacial past, losing only
solidity in exchange for freedom of expression. Always an equilibrium
between the three, moving out of, then back into balance again.

 
The detective’s chair (7)

There is nothing noir about Guido Brunetti. Noir needs ground
of loneliness, food of melancholy. Crime gets him down from time
to time, but he is reflective, philosophical, dives into Herodotus
when distance is required. He doesn’t come home from violence
to empty taunting rooms, to the siren song of ghosts. Awaiting him –
the love of a good woman, laughter from his kids. Most days Paola
cooks for him, real food, not the grease and salt of take away. Often
both lunch and dinner: calamari ripieni, fusili con mozzarella di
bufala et olive nere. If lunch must be eaten on the run he is aggrieved.
Even gourmet tramezzini don’t placate him, no match for Paola’s
deft hand with homemade fare. Her wise words, humour at his
expense often pull him out of gloom. His chair is on the third floor
terrace, next to hers. Together they contemplate la Serenissima,
share conversation, sunset, a glass or two of chilled prosecco.

 
Anne M Carson has been published in literary journals internationally and widely in Australia. Removing the Kimono was published in 2013. In 2015 she was commended in the Melbourne Poets Union International Poetry Prize. She is looking for a publisher for Massaging Himmler: A poetic biography of Dr Felix Kersten. www.annemcarson.com