A Million Bright Things – feat. Geoff Goodfellow

My second feature from the forthcoming CD – A Million Bright Things – is South Australian poet, Geoff Goodfellow.

Geoff Goodfellow is as tender as he is tough . . . as hard as he is soft. He is a walking contradiction. Throughout his twenty year career in poetry, he has revealed a considerable capacity for listening and close observation. His first collection No Collars No Cuffs, first published in 1986, is now in its 9th printing. Eight books have followed, most running into multiple print runs. He writes with a ‘contrived simplicity’, detailing the lives of seemingly ordinary people. It is however, his poet’s eye for the micro, rather than the macro, that allows him to focus on and dramatise a single crucial moment or situational aspect, to suggest much more the extraordinary.

Geoff’s poem, Blue Sky Mornings is featured on the CD A Million Bright Things.



Blue Sky Mornings

I remember being five years old
& walking up & down
the white quartz driveway
of our family home in Copley St
       dragging on a Rothmans Plain
i was often up at 5am on those
summer mornings
       tip-toeing over the floorboards
& being careful not to let the
screen door slap as i’d creep
out to dad’s cream FX Holden
       to sneak a smoke out of
the red soft pack he’d left on
the front bench seat
i’d walk the driveway then —
& practise doing the drawback
       feeling dizzy at times
but somehow enjoying it
       & i might do the
Chinese drawback too —     
feeling the smoke drift up my
       & i remember blowing
smoke rings into perfect blue
sky mornings
       looking up at the apricots
at the end of the driveway —
& sometimes hearing them fall
       & seeing white cling peaches
still setting on the tree
       & the corn already high enough
to hide a boy like me
but i was big enough to work
       & even then i knew
i wanted to be a working man
those mornings i’d listen for
the jingle of empty bottles
& the clip-clop of hooves
on our unmade street
       knowing that Lennie Sugars
the milky was coming
       & i’d butt my smoke into
the red clay soil & bolt out
to meet him
i’d spend the next two hours
placing pints on front verandas —
        hearing the clink of empties
from the back of the cart as the
horse worked his way towards
Lennie’s low whistle
       i remember too —
my forefinger & index finger
       greasy from the residue of
so many poorly washed empties
i’d picked up
but over the next fifty years & more —
       i’d pick up more than just
greasy bottles

there were sixty to eighty cigarettes
a day for fifteen years
       & over twenty half coronas
for another ten
       & lots of five paper joints

& i’d pick up solvents & sealants
& stains & paints & fluxes
& fluids with peculiar smells
       working through twelve hour
days on building sites in blinding sun 
with no UV protection

& yet no one can tell me with any
       just how i got cancer.

(forthcoming from Waltzing with Jack Dancer)


A Million Bright Things will be launched at Riverbend Books on Tuesday June 22. Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start. Tickets are $10 and include a glass of wine and sushi nibbles. To book tickets call Riverbend Books on (07) 3899 8555 or book online at www.riverbendbooks.com.au


Filed under events & opportunities, poetry & publishing

5 responses to “A Million Bright Things – feat. Geoff Goodfellow

  1. Hi Graham, managed a quick interview with Geoff the other day, up at http://walleahpress.com.au/FR41Goodfellow1.html … cheers, Ralph

  2. Wow – that hits you where it hurts. Fantastic stuff Geoff.

  3. Pingback: spoken in one strange word « Another Lost Shark

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