States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Swallowing the Sky' by Jane Williams

Swallowing the sky

What can I say about this
spring day but that the leaping
dog cloud has stolen my attention
away from all earthly blooms.
Such fine points of ears,
legs built for speed, for the hunt,
tail set to thump nothing into being,
open jawed, tasting life on the hop.
Yet even as this poem takes shape,
its inevitable dissolve has begun:
a quiver in the back legs then the front,
a reluctant heel to domesticity,
the ears next, nibbled away
by some cunningly
camouflaged predator,
the tail unceremoniously
dropping off altogether
until finally all that remains
is the ever widening
sky swallowing jaw
of the leaping dog cloud
no more.

Jane Williams

Jane Williams

Jane Williams

Jane Williams’s poems have been published widely since the early 1990s. She is the author of five collections of poems and one of short stories. Her most recent book is Days Like These: New and selected poems. Awards for her poetry include the Anne Elder Award, the D.J. O’Hearn Memorial Fellowship, and the Bruce Dawe Prize. She has read her poetry in several countries including United States, Ireland, Malaysia, Czech Republic, and Slovakia. While best known for her poetry, she enjoys writing in a variety of forms, combining photography and creative writing and collaborating with other artists. She has a Masters of Creative Writing from the University of Canberra and coedits the online literary and arts journal Communion with her partner Ralph Wessman.