States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'Moorhen at Black Mountain Peninsula' by Lesley Lebkowicz

Five ducks are standing
on a narrow strip of concrete

designed to ease boats into the water.
They have their backs to me;

even so, at the sound of my steps,
they slide into the lake.

A moorhen rises up and
onto the concrete.

She raises the dark wedge of her tail
and shits a neat soft gleaming pile

then steps towards me
small yellow beak leading the way

like a dainty beacon. I yearn
for things to be so simple:

eat, shit, swim, sleep.
She’s plump and round and her tail

lifts and falls erratically as she walks,
head to one side:

Have you brought food?
Now there is only the moorhen

& the sweet shell of mind and body
watching. The hen dives into the lake and

emerges inside a soft cage of overhanging willows.

Lesley Lebkowicz

Lesley Lebkowicz

Lesley Lebkowicz

Lesley Lebkowicz has been publishing poetry since the early 1980s. Her last book, The Petrov Poems (Pitt Street Poetry), won a Canberra Critics’ Circle award, was shortlisted for the 2014 ACT Book of the Year, and won the 2014 ACT Writing and Publishing Award (Poetry). She has also published a collection of short fiction Washing my Mother’s Hair, and a translation of the earliest Buddhist verse cycle, in collaboration with Pali scholars. She has spent many years in silent retreat and founded the Canberra Insight Meditation Group. 2017 saw her first exhibition of ceramics. Another is planned for 2018 as is the publication of her next book Kvetch (Pitt Street Poetry).