Tuesday poem: Silver-eyes and figs

November 26, 2012

Silver-eyes and figs

Each bird a single note, played
between the heavy figs, swollen
breves in this flighted music,
swing accents in an airy score.
The eye does not dissect
any swift segue of feather,

rather the bird breeze shakes
the hand-leaves, palms turned away.
It is the movement we see, not
a display case specimen mounted,
spread eagled for our slower eyes.

To watch this quick-silver is to
turn away from focus, to become
silver-eyed ourselves, as the ruffled

feathers of the fig
breathe scent of bird.

This uncharacteristic poem appears in my first book, The Glass Violin, copies of which are still available from Ginninderra Press. (Scroll down this linked page to Cottier.) Annoyingly, the last two lines above should appear as a broken line, with the word ‘breathe’ under the word ‘fig’, but this broken line keeps being removed before I can post this entry, creating a lovely chunky effect. Sigh.

I still remember how nervous I was before the launch of that first book. Geoff Page did the launch speech.

And now I am doing the launch of a book for the first time on Friday. The book is called In response to magpies, and is a small pamphlet of nine poems dealing with this charismatic Australian bird. The idea is that it would make a wonderful alternative to a mere Christmas card. The authors are Denise Burton, Amelia Fielden, Hazel Hall, Norma Hayman, Kathy Kituai, Sandra McGahy, Fiona McIlroy, Sandra Renew and Jill Sutton.

golden eye, not silver

Details: Biginelli Expresso, 5th floor, School of Music, Australian National University, 2pm. Please come along if you feel like poetry or coffee (or both) in the middle of the day.

I understand that magpies cause some havoc in New Zealand, where they are an introduced species. So even though one might say Quardle oodle ardle wardle doodle, I doubt somehow that this feather represents the magpie. Click it, and you will fly to New Zealand, where further poetry awaits you.
Tuesday Poem

4 Responses to “Tuesday poem: Silver-eyes and figs”

  1. carolineskanne said

    this is a beautiful poem.

  2. I love these last two lines anyway…And there is a way of dealing with awkward line breaks I found a tutorial once…

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