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Graham Kershaw

In this episode of Australian Book Review's States of Poetry podcast, Graham Kershaw reads from 'Emails to Manila' which features in the 2016 Western Australian anthology.

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Bottle-green air,
red gravel, bark and branch,
filigrees of hazel,
blanketing roar of ocean,
inlet glints of stone.
Depths of quiet sounded out
in ducks' satellite pings.
There's no ribbon to tie these things neatly in train,
no music to make it sound okay;
just me awake, reading your email
as cockatoos swing and chime
high in ka ...

Such a hollowness grows beneath us
such an undermining,
such a heavy, unwelcome silence
that we can no longer touch
this happy or unhappy life,
this grass, these children, this field of light,
fly as we might each fortnight
the surfaces lose value
– window, fence, city, street –
as we become beasts, turned inside out
under the fluorescent po ...

Below Howarth Cross, tussocky fields
still wait for dead builders; 'Pick your plot now.'
Mice dart away through clover and thistles
dodging oil drums, chip wrappers, surprised
by the impossible song of lost looms.
Under Cobbled Bridge, off Belfield Lane
the stones erode along their grain, as lain.
On the underside, immortalised, 'Kipper Lips'
and 'Tina to ...

This morning I read of the nightwell,
filling mysteriously in our sleep,
disappearing by day, and it brought
to mind the gifts of Christmas, of starlight,
the open dark eyes of the children of Aleppo
on television the night before.

I dreamt of a family escaping through pines,
over the crest of a forest, young and old
struggling down to the shore of a g ...

Riding back from Heathrow, after Rome,
everything felt dark, sad, dirty, grim.
Only on the train did the old redemption come:
soft green fields, open loose-leafed canopies,
water tipped from shivering layers of leaf,
through clouds of shadow; all those rich depths
under bridges, in the ditches, between one hedge
and another; deep pools of shadow, pierced

Graham KershawGraham Kershaw

Graham Kershaw is the author of novels, stories, essays an ...