The Way the Shadow Falls

Selected Poems by Peter Huta

(Outsider Press, $4.95 Australian, ISBN 0 646 31380 0)

The Way the Shadow Falls contains nineteen poems by Peter Huta. Here are three of them.

Steel Lives

Last night —
early morning 3 a.m. —
awoken by shouts, startled by screams,

I lumbered to my window
and watched in stupor as a man beat his wife.
They fought over a car,

a car that cost her bloodied lips
and swollen eyes.
It is the practice of our understanding,

a sign of what has become important in our
lives; it is the shame of our age,
that flesh must pay for steel.

Merciful Fate

"mercyful fate"
scrawled in black
on the mangled side
of this bus-shelter.

And on the back,
in a bolder hand,
the words "Bong On".

And a sigh is written in red,
between the swastika and the withered rose;
the simple words,

The Absent Friend

To your absent letters
I have written many replies,
all unsent.

To your unspoken questions asking of my life
I have phased a hundred wordy answers,
all unsaid.

Your imaginary greetings I give myself,
each a little colder.
And on leaves of curling paper I write

your name — just your name —
and end it crumpled,
between our callused hearts.


Copyright Peter Huta, 1997

Boris Books, P.O. Box 1388, Woden, A.C.T. 2606, Australia

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