This is the killing wind, chilling bloodwarmth
with surgeon fingers. It ricochets around my hearth
rattling the old bitch's bones,
troubling my crystal.
He blows in on it with his hardship eyes.
I had her first, boy.
His ears are stoppered with windshriek
and death's whisper.
He yearns for her.
And why not?
His transparent heart matches hers
beat for beat, their breaths
fog the air at the same time.
Their fingers cling together
like parasitic vines.
I walk on glass shards
careless of the blood and damage
I leave behind.
I poison everything
then salt the fecund earth.
I had her first.
Catherine Bateson, Rapunzel
One of the poems from the libretto, Rapunzel. I've been working on this for a while with Matt Ottley, composer, picture book illustrator and writer. We're very nearly finished!
I'm in Canberra - appearing as a guest poet at The Gods, tonight - so if you're a local, do come along. The other reader is Dennis Haskell. Also one of the Rapunzel poems has been published in a new anthology, The Stars Like Sand: Australian Speculative Poetry, edited by Tuesday poets, Tim Jones and PS Cottier, which is to be launched in Melbourne at Collected Works Bookshop on Friday 6th June, 6.00 pm.
Digested all this info? Drop by the Tuesday Poem blog for more poetic feasting!