These are linked poems created week by week for a year, inspired by the book No Choice But To Follow, and the poets therein who did it first.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

January #4

What Links Us

My neighbour is playing his music.
This afternoon our windows 
are closed against the heat
yet still I hear the heavy pulse
of the drum, of my throbbing blood,
my heartbeat, everyone's heart,
across our dividing courtyard.

This morning I swam
in the hydrotherapy pool.
There was my old friend Irwin, 
stretching his herniated discs.
'I can't do this in the river,' he said,
and I remembered all of us swimming 
with him in his river, years ago.

At Christmas I went back
to the town I grew up in.
The hospital there, where I was born
and my little brother was born,
was also where my Nana died
who held me in her lap. I was four. 
Now I am 74. I still love her.

The handsome lizard in my kitchen —
how did that get in? — didn't scurry away
but kept very still. I opened the back door
and fetched the broom. Could I
manoeuvre it out? I don't like 
killing the creatures. Oh, but this one
was dead already, a gift from the cat.

Do I put these things before you
as question, answer, or neutral description?
Not to instruct you how to think,
let me just tell you what I imagine:
all the trees of the world messaging each other,
their roots connected through earth 
and their branches sharing the air.

— Rosemary Nissen-Wade


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