Roda de Cura/Centauros Feridos

Arte e seres híbridos: transgressões e integrações de fronteiras


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Three More Poems by Ruth Dallas

(Above image by Roger Hickin: Dark & Bright as Earth Is 2002 Acrylic & found paint on kauri panels, 175 x 280mm (Private collection, Seattle)

In the University Library

I am swallowed by a whale

Whose ribs are well furnished

With writing material, books,

A choice of coffee or tea.

 

From portholes I observe

Clouds disperse

Or gather in threatening storm.

Seabirds pass overhead

 

Emitting their coarse laughter.

I am walled behind glass

Where snow does not fall

Nor gales blow. I write poems,

 

Frame incantations

Against being digested by the whale.

 

In the Giant’s Castle

My father remembered what it was to be small,.

And to nourish rebellion.

My father in the night concocted

From vinegar, brown paper, pepper,

A hot plaster for my jumping ear,

Which was much the same as waving a wand.

I could show you my tommy-axed finger,

Bound together without stitches,

Or tell you how my father became a wall

And relied on me to stand as firm

While a doctor scissored off my crushed nail.

But when I grew, and climbed

The hill Difficulty, and at length

Came face to face with Giant Despair,

My father was not there,

Just his initials marked on a stone.

 

Black-Backed Gulls

Grass I have cut and heaped in a pyramid

Is not yet dry enough to burn;

 

So I lie on it, reading Japanese poems,

Under a wild cherry, overhanging the harbour,

Whose skinny fruit is long since gone.

 

Between its leaves, fretted by pear-slug,

The sky is milky blue. Early evening.

 

Sun catches the karoros’ underwings.

 

Nine birds float, steady, on the wind,

Then tilt off, wailing over the water,

Screened by the bitten cherry-tree,

Only to return and wheel again,

Swivelling their white heads to look down.

 

What do they see? Long human bones

Thrown out with an old jersey and trousers,

Lying a long time motionless in the hay.

 

These beautiful, gliding, immaculate birds

Are hopefully wondering if I am dead.

 

 

 

Ruth Dallas


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Books | NZ Poetry Shelf – Slip Stream

Slip Stream Auckland University Press, 2010

‘Green knows how to create atmosphere and mood born of genuine conviction. Slip Stream is lovely, weird and warm.’ – Hamesh Wyatt, Otago Daily Times

‘Slip Stream is an account of a time when Paula Green was buffeted in the slipstream of an illness. How can life go on as usual? she asks – and finds answers in poetry and music, crosswords and cherries, lists and family love.’

Source: Books | NZ Poetry Shelf