Michael Ondatjee

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Bearhug by Michael Ondaatje
Griffin calls to come and kiss him goodnight
I yell ok. Finish something I'm doing,
then something else, walk slowly round
the corner to my son's room.
He is standing arms outstretched
waiting for a bearhug. Grinning.

Why do I give my emotion an animal's name,
give it that dark squeeze of death?
This is the hug which collects
all his small bones and his warm neck against me.
The thin tough body under the pyjamas
locks to me like a magnet of blood.

How long was he standing there
like that, before I came?

Application For A Driving License by Michael Ondaatje
Two birds loved
in a flurry of red feathers
like a burst cottonball,
continuing while I drove over them.
I am a good driver, nothing shocks me.

(Inner Tube) by Michael Ondaatje
On the warm July river
head back

upside down river
for a roof

slowly paddling
towards an estuary between trees

there's a dog
learning to swim near me
friends on shore

my head
dips
back to the eyebrow
I'm the prow
on an ancient vessel,
this afternoon
I'm going down to Peru
soul between my teeth

a blue heron
with its awkward
broken backed flap
upside down

one of us is wrong

he
his blue grey thud
thinking he knows
the blue way
out of here

or me

I choose this poet because of his outstanding work in poetry. Michael Ondaatje is a great poet because of his work and the way he expresses emotion through his poetry. I have recognized that there is a lot of animals in his poems, think this is either due to his love for animals or him simply describing the beauty in nature. A quote from one of his poems is “there’s a dog learning to swim near me on the shore.” I think that Michaels work is outstanding in comparison to other poets. Throughout Michaels work there is a use of many themes such as nature is beautiful and things aren’t as they seem. I think me and this poet are related in ways because we both have the same love for animals and if I...
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