Sunday, November 05, 2006

New Poetry by Elizabeth Webb


The intricate, filigree traceries left by a wave on wet sand
The round, curled, sweet shape of a shell
Filled with the sea's whispers and quiet roaring.
The crisp, new smell of an unopened book
With pages unthumbed and not yet
Softened by the wandering eye.

The satistfying, strong push
Of feet against pedals
And the whirring, zooming,
Flashing world, free-wheeling
And swooping down the beckoning path.

The tang of salt against skin
And cool green water buoying up
Bodies, closing a shimmering
Canopy over dripping heads for a moment
Before they burst back through
To the crash of spray and blue sky.

The brush of long grass against bare feet
And the solid, sweating, rippling, rolling body
Of horse beneath me
A ride along a road overgrown
With wild plants and creeping weeds
In gathering dusk and a pale moon overhead.

Clear voices ringing out old songs
To welcome in the Christ child
The press of hot bare legs together
In faded shorts
The golden smell of flowering silky-oak
A threat of dry, fragrant smoke
And the chortling noisy-friar bird
Black bald head bobbing
In the windy tree-tops.

The comfortable, square shape
Of a wombat trundling along
An early morning walk, unafraid.
A prickling of echidna spines
Potruding from its shallow hiding place
A confusion of mad black choughs
Bustling and pecking and chirring
And chatting softly
As they pick through the fallen leaves.
The high mournful call of currawongs
Circling and landing on a waiting branch
The hard blue of the sky, the sifted dusty soil.

The whistling flash of a wood-duck's wing
A flotilla of black swans with wax-red beaks
Honking like lost souls as they drift into the shore.
The warm wet startle of a dog's lick, the delicate dry
Touch of a bird's feet
As it sidesteps along an arm.

The glimpse of a smile, an uplifted eyebrow
The lowering of lashes, avoiding eyes, outstretched fingers
The fine skin behind an ear
And the secret whiteness of a soft exposed belly
The drying splash of tears, flowing growing lines
Of good talk and full silences
A bubbling spring of laughter
And the lilt of a known voice.

All these things I gather in a box of dreams
And leave it open, quietly
At your waiting feet

- Elizabeth Webb 2006

Elizabeth is an undergraduate student at ANU in Canberra.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love how sensual and visual this poem is. Salt is a sensation and taste. The dog's lick is a surprise and a feeling! I am transported to the flowering silky oak and the wattle bird is there - I can smell the sweet fragrance and hear the bird. This is a very powerful poem.g