Anita Patel

'A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.'
Charles Darwin

Inside a structure
of rainbow loops and angles
spangle whirling
over a cellophane lake
is Mr. Darwin’s room,
exactly as he left it:
cards tucked in the mirror,
pictures on the wall,
a basket by the fire,
unassu ...

Have you noticed
how the purl and plain of
women’s talk is tangled
and snarled
when a man enters the room?
Suddenly stitches are dropped
irretrievably
in the middle of a pattern
worked on for hours
and the cosy blend of colours
dark and light is
snagged and knotted
beyond repair.
The ropy t ...

Through damp drifts of umber
ducks parade past the National Museum.
A feathered armada,
flashing iridescent epaulettes,
they salute themselves
in plate glass windows.

And a flutter of parrots –
emerald and rose
hails their arrival ...

a flurry of silken scarves
flung in admiration
landing gently on the
ice pale grass.

< ...

Two words for face in my language:
Wajah from the Arabic wajh
rolls off the tongue sweetly
and melts like honey
in our mouths …
Wajah – a fitting sound for
the cherished tenderness of
a human face …
And yet …
I prefer the honest drum beat
of muka. An island word
harvested from salty seas and

Suddenly you accost me
with silent sepia eyes –
a sallow smudge of newsprint
hidden among weapons and bones.
You shrink and flutter
like a ...

Anita Patel States of PoetryAnita Patel has had work published in various journals including Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary ...