Losing Ground

              for Tom Ball

No way to look
at the Royal George
one year after the poet’s death
and not think of a life
where the smell of damp
of stale beer, moulding carpet
and dog-eared pages of books
would not be a daily smell.

So easy to tell the wrong story.

It was good to hear
you were eating poems
instead of fortune cookies
walking bare foot to feel
the sand slip between your toes
slowly but surely losing
the ground you thought
was your life.


Filed under poetry

9 responses to “Losing Ground

  1. bruce dorlova

    fuck! i knew Tom many years ago. useta share a stage with him at the bombshelter under the bridge – and other places too.

    i didn’t even know…

    • gnunn

      Yeah, it’s a couple of years ago now… a real loss. I wrote this a while back but have never shared it, but for some reason thought it was time. He was one of the good ones!

  2. this is great, especially the middle line you use to break the poem

  3. yes, that middle line centres the poem so very well in so many ways.
    sensitively wrought.


    • gnunn

      Thanks so much Amanda. This was a difficult poem, so am really glad that it is hitting the mark.

      • pru

        this lovely poem is an apt way to hear of Tom’s death. it is easy to ‘tell the wrong story’ but even at this distance i reckon you got it just right graham.

  4. I am so sad to hear he died. I knew him many moons ago in Brisbane. What happened?
    Your piece is well written thankyou for sharing.

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