Below are two poems from a verse novella, work in progress by Anne Collins, with the working title “Water Narrative”.  It was written while Anne was the Australian Poetry Centre’s Poet-in Residence at Chadõ The Way of Tea in Hobart from April- October 2009. Anne collaborated with visual artist Marianne Stafford who produced six paintings in response to Anne’s poetry. The works were exhibited at Chadõ in November 2009.

Poem from Section 1

She learnt to walk on water at any early age,
the swell and heave of the sea beneath the ship
fastened the muscles in her sturdy toddler legs
framing her dress, testing the sway of the deck.
She was caught reading upside down
her tiny frown a mark of serious intent,
the white child bound for the south.
The ocean sang its blue lullaby
as floating became her.

Poem from section 4

A perpendicular drop at the edge of the Bight,
the longest escarpment,
sea-cliffs aligned with the equator.
Far below limestone feet stand
in the froth of shelf-shallows. A voice spreads
from here to the underline of distant sky.
The ocean’s mouth steepens to the abyssal plain,
a bed of mud, sand and melancholy,
the ancestor Sahul rifted from Antarctica.
The stillness was all sea-breath,
inhaling, exhaling a salty sigh.
The brink was temptation, her arms lifted like wings,
she wanted to glide like an albatross across the fetch,
over the trackless deep that might drink her down
4000 metres to the undersea of nymphs, the benthic realm.
At her back the scrubby Nullabor somewhere near Ceduna,
a dusty, red, stretch where the wind crystallises sea-salt
and conducts the meeting of currents.

©Anne Collins

Peter Macrow,
Tasmanian Times Poetry Editor.
Tasmanian poets or those with a Tasmanian link are invited to send up to 5 poems which have not appeared previously in print or electronic media to:
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For the complete collection, click here: Poetry, Peter Macrow