States of Poetry Series Three - ACT | 'New Years Day by the river' by Miranda Lello

I swim through obscure water to the far bank where
trees hunch searching reflections in muddy currents

I crawl beneath greening branches beside dark bracken
spiky cycads stare out at the people on the other side

They lie spread on sparsely grassed sand congregated
by this inland river beneath incongruous beach umbrellas

They stumble through shallows on hidden rocks swim
to the middle where lazy currents turn their eyes to the sky

They will not climb the dirty bank grasp tree roots grab
clinging plants and haul themselves upwards so I am safe

I turn and see the hill behind me burnt out trees silhouetted
against bright sky promising green ranges stretching away

Sky promises trees sprouting new leaves on sunlit hills
next Spring grass will quiver with wildflowers and sun moths

I look at bending trees gripping to the bank gnarled roots
claws in dry dust mud of the river gives back no reflections

I turn from the sunlit hill dive into water where weeds embrace
the muddy bed embrace love me in the sunlight salted dark

Miranda Lello

Miranda Lello

Miranda Lello

Miranda Lello is a Canberra poet and performer whose début poetry collection, A Song, The World To Come, was published in March 2017 by Recent Work Press. It took thirty-five years to write, and Miranda launched it on her birthday under a tree outside the National Film and Sound Archive, one of the places she loves most in Canberra. Miranda has performed regularly around Canberra over the past twelve years, including at The Salt Room, Canberra Slambouree, BAD!SLAM!NO!BISCUIT!, and at Smith’s Alternative. In 2011 she was a finalist in the National Poetry Slam. She has been a featured performer at the Noted Festival and has had multiple poems shortlisted for the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. She has had poems published in Axon: Creative Explorations, fourW, and the now long-gone Canberra journals Block and Burley.

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