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Blog - Richard Downes

Dust Poems


Floor dust, city dust

1. Dust preserved in memory

The Dust dances on a sunbeam
Cast through curtains into a darkened room

My mother has her cloth hands stayed
by a terse instruction
Her cloth ears understand
Leave the Dust

The Dust I’m told by grandma
Is but dead skin and hair
She wants it there
Collecting, nesting, layering the sideboard

The physical remains of a man
Who’s jolly girth heaves no more
Husband, father, grandad.

She knew his tissue
Knew his sinew
Its like grannie knows her voodoo

The sun shines on above the hole
A man in skirts begins
Dust to dust

2.The Dust today

Lies everywhere
Mottled by footprints
More remains
These of those
Who seek entertainment
Learning, enlightenment
The living
I sit bored, uninspired, waiting
My eyes drawn to the Dust
City dust, people dust
I think of mom, her cloth hands
If this centre was home
There’d be no dust for visitors
No dust for feet to mark
Cloth hands sweeping, mopping
Circular swathes cutting through the dust
And I consider further
The dust of grandma
The dust of mother
The dust of one
The dust of others
For we are dust
Dust to dust
Dust for dusting
Dust not

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