walleah press


Translated into Ten Languages

Looking straight into her eyes
I shrug, shift my weight, right to left
drop to my haunches, smoothing the fine,
fine short fur on the cartilage hind side of her ear,
making a small sound like a lowdown hum
in my chest. It does the trick in dog,
or so she kindly lets me think.

Filling, leaving and refilling the same ikebana bowl
with water for three years on the deck rail,
whistling occasionally a few notes, carefully cleaning
off the sooty slime lining, so blue glaze + water
approximately equals sky, bath, cistern,
mirror, seismograph, the poem is now seven
dialects of bird, which might translate back to English.

The croupier plays Scrabble: the chips are down
in their roulette-a-thon, an acrostic
take on all the ball bearing's bets, red and black blurs,
the bounce translates into your pulse rate.

The string tail trails a fluid script, the sudden
side-ways shifts annotate discontinuities in tense,
the kite's translating wind, and I am reading
and writing in slow motion.

Carol Jenkins is a Sydney writer whose first book of poetry Fishing in the Devonian was published by Puncher & Wattman in September 2008. In 2007 she established River Road Press, which has produced eleven audio CDs of Australian poetry, two CDs for APC Anthologies and recorded poems for poets who needed audio.