States of Poetry 2016 NSW Podcast | 'Smith's Lake' by Fiona Wright

Monday, 23 May 2016 16:15

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Fiona Wright reads her poem 'Smith's Lake' which features in the 2016 New South Wales anthology.


Smith's Lake

The grass grows longer on the easeway.

A pelican swipes the sky
            towards the seascape we can't yet see,
its webby legs outstretched:
                                          I wait for these,

              for sunburn behind the knees,
for sand between the bedsheets,
champagne at dusk
              and pelicans,
and their unthinking ease.

They clap their chitin jaws
              when we gut bream up on the sandbank,
this they augur:
to swallow fishheads
and stare with oyster eyes
              at the tangle of tackle and flaked scales
that will sandcastle by our toes.
You grew up inland
and don't yet expect this.

We'll eat straight from unfurled paper,
and leave our oily fingerprints to refract,
buy coffee at the marina
(and it will taste like sump oil
and salt, but a tiny chocolate biscuit will balance
on the spoon.)

You have no history here,
and don't yet know this.
               You can't yet read
the ocean
for its undertow.

Fiona Wright


'Smith's Lake' appears in 'States of Poetry - NSW'. You can learn more about States of Poetry and read the full anthologies here

Read Fiona Wright's biography in 'States of Poetry - NSW'