As If The Large Magellanic Cloud Looks Over Us

Issue EightIssue Eight PoetryPoetry

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By Jill Jones.


Thursday was full moon     more than silvery

when clouds parted     life is short    days are long

you don’t need me to tell you that    time is adjusted

to make it so    evening full of light    pink on gum trees

lorikeets gush out from the thick weave of branches


In the kitchen I bring together some simple vegetables

it’s not a dance     something emerges     they merge

the soup ladle is silvery     life is short


Uranus is three billion kilometres away

undetected until 13 March 1781    so far as we know


Some shorebirds will leave soon    Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knot, Sanderling   you have to drive an hour or so

to see them     someone tags them     then they go

along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway


I wonder if they smell the grape harvest     this summer

long and dry    that will make acidic whites rich shiraz

will bushfire smoke affect some pickings    I sip wine

before pouring the glass     into the pan

sugar and acid mean something         days are long


Something I’ve been reading reminds me

poems have centres that move     or is it borders

I wish I’d made a note     I think they are islands

once parts of continents     their beaches

submerged and lush


There are languages here I don’t know     names

Karrawirra Parri     Tarndanyangga     and I don’t know

what birds say    the trees     possums     the bats

I hear them sometimes     in the thick weave


The day is playing its tricks     uncovering the sun

then covering it up     at night there’ve been clouds

like furry islands with lit up seas    we wonder if

there’s a possum landing on the roof some nights    or a cat


I don’t remember    just what I was saying

to someone now dead    or lost in history   near borders


I wake from dreams    of profit and loss    in the warm breath

morning    a sound is running     a name I’m not sure of

and here are my arms