With Music—for Steven

by Mark Liston

I reach these plaques at ocean lookout, bleached, 
like metal passports—dates, names and faces,
soft eyed depths of field, yesterdays’ horizons:
I read your life as unrequited songs.

I stand where you could have stood, bolt-alone
in a time-tunnel holding hands with the air. 
My face is riding waves of updraft drift;
to be clear, to draw in, to be seeking peace.

I feel the nakedness of dawning light 
like veins that truth rushes through, 
and pulses loud like sullen trumpet solos: 
as if we speak in sync with music

about what brought you here
and the ghost notes you left unplayed.

At the lookout along the Newcastle headlands there are plaques for those who have lost their lives. To visit here, stare and ponder, allows Steven to stay in the music he loved and the music of the wind on each visit (physically and mentally).

Mark Liston poems have appeared in numerous anthologies:  including Famous Reporter, Newcastle Prize and Roland Robinson, Skive, Australian Poetry Anthology, A Slow Combusting Hymn, Brew, Watermark, Rochford St Review and Canberra Times. He has also won two minor prizes South Coast Writers and Australian Poetry Poem of the Year 2014 and Newcastle Café Poet in Residence. Mark published a chapbook ‘Fragile Diamonds’ by Picaro Press in 2014. He lives in Dubbo, still writing.

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