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Mixed Fruit – Ian C. Smith

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Mixed Fruit


I hold time in memory with these scenes, sounds, words.

A sadist slams on my old door, hears no reply from me.

Unafraid in a misfit’s clothes that no longer fit

I cross a rail yard, bluestone screenings, see

pigeons on the tiles, a line-up murmuring Who’s guilty?

A perspective of power poles march into the future

piloting a freed boy into the rest of his story,

betrayal, bad beginnings, sad wasted days, behind.


On foot I home in on a girl who writes letters of love,

a litany of words aching on creased paper, as good

as breathing this petrol redolent movie scene morning.

Embarrassed by a haircut I buy fruit watched as if

I were an escapee, true from my fresh point of view

lingering among abundance, colours and scents,

until sidelong glances propel me on my quest.

A steeped throb, dewdrop of longing, a dazzle. Young.


Slow, silvery, I walk, a grace of swans, sky, gods,

impatient with worrying about death in the distance,

weathered, weighted by a clamorous past,

from the pits of freedom denied to wind on my face.


I would claw back up time’s frozen chute, burst free

to oxygen-packed inklings, horizons, today and tomorrow.

I breathe in a banana from a bowl of mixed fruit,

words on paper, young hearts crying, miles of road ahead.

Ian C. Smith’s work has appeared in, Antipodes, Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal,, The Brasilia Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, The Stony Thursay Book & Two-Third North. His seventh book is Wonder Sadness Madness Joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.


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