States of Poetry 2016 - South Australia | 'Telephone' by Kate Llewellyn

You ought to ring up
The farm may have disappeared
Into the river – as it does from time to time –
Or the trees in the orchard bloomed with stars
Or the geese may have rowed
in the blue dinghy adorned with hundreds
of marigolds to the island
with six of them sitting straight up
on the bench, the other two heaving an oar
while the rooster watches appalled
on the shore.
The peacocks may have grown tails
Orchestrated with shimmering eyes
And breasts in celestial blue
One may have turned white
Overnight and resemble nothing more
Than a bride who fled afraid
To a branch of the old mango tree
Where she stays sullen and stubborn
Refusing our blandishments to afternoon tea.
For all you know, the sky at dusk
May have entered the river
And bled there giving birth to the night.
The bauhinia tree may have turned pink
And filled itself up with small birds
Trembling like thumbs given wings.
Oh, at last the phone rings.

 

Kate Llewellyn

Kate Llewellyn

Kate Llewellyn

Kate Llewellyn is the author of twenty-four books comprising eight of poetry, five of travel, journals, memoirs, letters and essays. She is the co-editor of The Penguin Book of Australian Women Poets and is the author of the bestseller The Waterlily: A Blue Mountains Journal. Her most recent books are A Fig at the Gate, a book of nature writing and poems, published by Allen & Unwin, and First Things First, a book of her letters edited by Dr Ruth Bacchus and Dr Barbara Hill, published by Wakefield Press.

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