David Gilbey is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at Charles Sturt University. He is editor of 4W literary journal. Born in London, he migrated to Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney. Involved with a variety of arts groups in the community, he has been known to tread the boards and impersonate well-known public figures. His reviews have been published in Australian Book Review. His first part collection of poetry is Under the Rainbow, FourW press, 1996. He has just completed the manuscript for his first full collection, having travelled to US, UK, France, Japan and China on Study Leave 2006. In 2007 he is teaching English at Miyagi Gakuin Women’s University in Sendai, Japan. David is married to general practitioner Dr Geraldine Duncan and they have four children quickly exiting adolescence.
Outside the Quan Jude Roast Duck Restaurant
a candyman glassblower makes animals, figurines,
from caramelized sugar, smiling at his skill:
brittle brown prawn skins, antennae, mouth and legs,
shining exoskeletons of dog, balloon man, and, for us,
a horse –
distending a head from the soft globe,
pinching a mouth, ears,
stretching a billowing tail
from the soft, streaked sugar sheen
hardening as he works it.
Somehow there is movement in the twist of neck
and leaping haunch, though in what we call reality
impossibly dwarfed back legs could only hobble.
A mystical beast for all that, a windrider
to carry us off to our dining palace
along the freezing street.
In the restaurant I say I’ve brought my horse,
tried to park it outside – couldn’t find the rail.
Luckily the waiter’s Chinese
and doesn’t understand my cowboy joke
but grinned just the same.