Howard Firkin
for Clive James
Dear Clive, I’m sorry you can’t visit; so,
allow me to supply this pocket snap,
a free to download literary app
to keep Australia with you as you go.
Cue magpies, currajongs, and butcher birds.
In smoky green the gum trees nod and wave
like old mates, too long knowing you to rise,
they almost smile, make sure you catch their eyes,
and know you understand the look they gave.
Some feelings never sink as far as words.

Your harbour is as beautiful as sin
conceived in Eden long before a fall.
Sit on its sandstone shores tonight, begin
the farewell that’s a greeting to the all.