Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania, Perth and for now, Melbourne. Two collections published: Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence (1988); Sand in the Sole (2014). Lake won Elwood (Aus) Poetry Prize 2016, Lost Tower Publications (UK) Poetry Comp 2017 and Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Festival/The Dan Competition 2018. Besides Australia he has been published in Canada, UK, USA, Mauritius, India, West Indies and Italy.
I Don't Either
Round and round we go, on Earth.
Sometimes it gives me migraine;
sometimes I get ahead of myself,
trip, fall, recover. So far.
I just don’t know,
my grandma used to say out loud,
out of the blue even on grey days,
back on a part of the planet called
Ca na da, which I believe exists
without me, as if I never mattered
to the matter I inhabited and maybe
that is so. I just don’t know.
Now Granny is still, as her remains
go around, while I’m never very still,
half a day ahead in Australia,
for all the good it does me.
If grandma was alive, on the phone
(huge telephone attached to wall)
she’d want to know time and temp-
because she believed she existed
near top of a wall map not on spinning
ball and, btw, she made her own bread,
like with flour and stuff. Her daughter,
my Mum, who – I can confirm –
also, admittedly, just did not know,
was not a bread maker but was a bread-
winner and consumer of bread until
she too was stilled for usual reason.
Times seem to change, a bit. I’ll bet
my daughter, gluten intolerant,
just does not know. As I continue
to go around I consider history,
eat bread, wonder aloud at times
by making the same familiar,