The Frequency of God

At a trash ‘n’ treasure market,

in an average town,

an old radio

encased in bakelite.


Plugged in &

waiting for the valves to warm

I took to the dial with a frothing sense of urgency,

twisting past horse races & rock & roll,

past right wing commentary,

           searching for the frequency of God,

long lost in digital audio,

           sure to be found

in the silver soldered

magic of a romanticised time.


           & there

at the end

of the amplitude modulated band,

.                        megahertz away from any generic noise,

.            a perfect silence.


Published in Windmills, Fifth Edition, November 2010

Published in Best Australian Poems 2011

Published in Notes for Translators 2012, December 2012

Published on robbiecoburn.com

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017


No Tears Shed

At the end of a life spent in utter pride

what questions linger in the dormant mind,

what life of chosen solitude led,

that would end in silence with no tears shed.


In ageing years when support is sought

from those whose love in frail arms caught,

what sorrow is absent from deathly bed

when a life could pass with no tears shed.


In distant home, in sufferance lied,

among strangers a woman gave up and died,

what hope of remorse when all prayers said,

when a family remains fractured, the mother is dead,

and a life passes in silence with no tears shed.


But though these stanzas have you crucified

it would be false to say that I never cried,

I hold onto tears for what I never had,

as your life passes by me one tear I shed.


Published in Underground, Issue 4, September 2010

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017