Almanac Poetry: ‘The German’ – Tommy Mallet


The German


The German woman fascinates me.

Alone, in the highest shack on the mountain,

where it’s 4 wheel drive and everything’s always dark and gloriously wet,

tucked into a tiny, rocky, creek-lined flat

towered over

by white gums, on the edge

of higher, myrtle beech rainforest.


Somewhere beautiful and miserable,

dangerous and hard.


That shack, with rusty water and no power.


I cut wood for her

just to be up there,

because, without it, she wouldn’t survive.

Take my own share, selling it down in the world.


I’m filing the saw when she greets me, long hair, layers of clothes,

far too skinny,

face always painted with zinc for some reason,

even in winter.


She looks like a ghost.


Every day, silently walking down 5kms

to the main road

to do I have no idea what.

Be less alone?


She’ll complain about something,

or someone down in the valley,

whine in a way that lends to me helping her more.


She is a user, a survivor,

who’ll do anything but work.


I don’t care.


All I see is this thin woman, walking from her

gingerbread house,

in this dark, green-and-shadows land of giants,

Framed by warming, cold light.


All I hear is the hiss of wind, as it sweeps

in waves

through the canopy, trying to make it

this far down.


All I smell is the moss and damp

and wonder if she knows

she is mythology.






More poetry from Tommy Mallet HERE.



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  1. Enjoyable read, Tommy.
    I particularly like the last verse – it leaves the reader wondering…

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