Thursday, September 16, 2010

New Poetry by Libby Hart



I’ve been crossing myself
at odd moments.

There was a time
I would only do this in church

and its ritual meaning
was nothing more than obedience.

There has been a great gap of time
since then and now

and I wonder why,
suddenly, I’ve taken it up again.

Is it akin to what Steinbeck once described
as a duck walking over my grave?

Or is it my soul touching on
the unknown and recognising it?

With great reverence stitched on my face
I make the sign of the cross

wondering if, indeed,
it is because you have remembered me.

- Libby Hart 2010


Small apparition,
a perfect shape of fire.

Once I held your warmth
in both hands.

I murmured safe passage,
ripe crimson words

Then swift grace followed.
Wonder soared inside the New Year.

- Libby Hart 2010

Wild calling

A fear of drowning
can make a man test himself
against the cool shock of salt water.
Each day he presses on with purpose,
but soon will scull the shore
with all that force inside of him,
one oar stroke at a time.

Once he called the whales to come,
watching the wide, sparkling ocean
with all the enthusiasm of a true believer
until they emerged with a mermaid’s flourish
inside a glimpse of fluke then a mighty roll,
barnacle jewellery glinting in the sun.

- Libby Hart 2010
Libby Hart’s first collection of poetry, Fresh News from the Arctic (2006) received the Anne Elder Award and was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize. She is also the recipient of a DJ O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship at The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne. Her book-length poem This Floating World was devised for stage and performed by Teresa Bell and Gavin Blatchford (2010). Publication of This Floating World is forthcoming through Five Islands Press (2011)

No comments: