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Books & Poetry

Poem: The Tauondi Trail

Books & Poetry

Michèle Saint-Yves walks towards a different light in this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution.

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The Tauondi Trail

Kaurna for “penetrate and break through”
and written after Mary Oliver’s “The Journey”.

I wake. It’s late enough.
I know –

It comes whispering under my skin, in mumbling
under my tongue
swoops in sideways like a lorikeet at an odd angle
startles like electric fish netted
from trawling of cinnabar dreams

in my marrow this morning, the knowing:
I must walk so as not to die.

I begin: the Torrens trail as I hear a siren singing past the weir.
Remnants of life scatter in my wake –
last gasp muddy fish, woollen hat, fast food wraps,
Adidas athletes, Tai Chi try-hards,
iPod pedestrians, Santos students.

Each breath beats –
to mourning howls of lion kings
melancholic melee of godlike monkeys
woeful blinking of soulful giraffes.

Each step brings –
rotten branches down
bluestone fissures whose foundations already shake
skinks to light from rapier cracking of concrete conventions.

And then – here – a different light reveals itself
in river fountain’s rainbow mist
eucalypts’ leafy sun-dragons
sun-white cockatoos picking gold nuggets of autumn.

My heart in hands
mind in nascent wings
legs heavy and tired, about to drop off.

And then – hear – a new song of different frequency
to the ordinary world
playing amongst feathered boa
of river-banked pampas,
in windy bellows of black swans’ wings,
in choral colonies of cicadas.

With this new song I walk to this different light
not away from this world
deep, deeper, deepening to within
where unfurling of my wings begins.

Michèle Saint-Yves writes for performance in stage, screen and poetry, and has also directed and produced plays and short films. With short fiction and poems published in journals and anthologies, she was the winner of this year’s Friendly Street Poets Single Poet Competition with her collection ‘Lament’, which was published and launched this week. She is completing her debut novel, the novella version of which was shortlisted for the 2019 MsLexia Novella Fiction Prize. Details of her extensive and varied academic qualifications, can be found here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.


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