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Poetry

More poems by Asad Latif

Courtesy: Creative Commons
AN ACRE OF ENGLAND
For Paul Broom, MBE

An acre of England lies in my mind
and travels with me delighted to find
Ashfield near Sydney and Strathfield just behind.
This train carries people and histories on time.
Chinese and Lebanese, Bengalis and Nepalese
and escapees from Italy and Greece
jostle for space with bankers and with refugees
and the occasional natives: Aborigines
whose 60,000 years have overstayed
the expanse of the Australian mind.

At Morriset or Fassifern or Wondabyne
I see the land and its peoples
in British names entwined.
Nations and ages come but to pass
but a train ties all receding sights
to ancestries of the speeding heart.
Brits, this is not your country any more.
Aussies, are you happy? Beware though,
there's a convict poet on every train
missing an acre of England that is
Australia rediscovered, retimed,
re-rhymed, restored.



DISCIPLINE OF FORM


A gaggle of girls from a Sydney train
Elbows its giggling way through the platform
And rushes up the stairs to catch the rain
Or a bus or wait for Pa in this storm.
A broken evening arrives like a hearse
On the highway's sudden bend just ahead
When young unknowns all around me disperse
And leave new poems unwritten and unread. 
But before you go, "Excuse me. I've come
This far but am new here and I don't know
The way to myself from the setting sun
To a land I have never seen before."
They look askance at my age and laugh on.
This sonnet and I recede into form.

 Asad Latif is a Singapore-based journalist. He can be contacted at badiarghat@borderlesssg1

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL. 

Click here to access the Borderless anthology, Monalisa No Longer Smiles

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