rain clouds are gathering at the edge of the world
when we enter the forest the trees
gather their branches over us darken the day
shadow hides us from one another
Sarasvati's speech turns our simple words
into poetry like the mane of a galloping horse
they call me Kuvalaya the night-opening flower
I sing with them carry words
to faraway places to a land across the sea
where once they say
some of their ancestors retreated
others dispute this
and none of the legends is conclusive
I come as a visitor I come with a head full
of words full of landscapes and languages
whether I find my world in the lyrics of their
world is for me to discover here the herd
plays I enter this world of shadows of half-told
stories where the lotus opens at night
from Susan Hawthorne, Cow, Spinifex Press, 2011.
Susan Hawthorne has published five other collections of poetry, a novel, and non-fiction as well as editing numerous anthologies. In 2009, she was an Asialink Literature Resident at the University of Madras and her research and experiences there informs her latest collection of poetry, Cow.
Cow is a real literature that entertains, charms and provokes. Hawthorne's erudition is elegant; she moves from cowshed to cosmos lightly and with technical grace and welcomes you into her fascinating mind. - Chris MansellI heard Susan Hawthorne read her work recently at the Melbourne Poet's Union and it was a real treat. She's a warm, witty and engaging reader and if you aren't familiar with her work, hearing her read is an ideal start.
Hear Susan read at The Word Tree, Burrinja Cafe, Burrinja Cultural Centre, cnr of Glenfern Road and Matson Drive, Upwey this Saturday (May 7th) from 3.00 pm. Limited open section, so bring your poems. $3/5 entry fee.
For more information on Spinifex Press and their writers, look here.