03 December 2012
Tuesday Poem: 'The News' by Saradha Koirala
At the zoo café you can watch pocket monkeys
tiny hands clinging to twiggy branches
swift and feathery as birds.
It’s here my brother tells me about his poppy seed child,
the first four weeks passed
swelling, beaming into existence.
That night a woman’s scream wakes the street
we leap from our beds but are no use. Cops the next morning
the next morning’s paper.
Everyone has news: Mum falling off her bike
and then completing a triathlon,
my brother the poppy seed
and me, ah.
I'm like . . . an old window
it's really a liquid.
From Tearwater Tea, forthcoming 2013, Steele Roberts.
Saradha Koirala is a poet and sometimes-teacher from Wellington. Her first collection, Wit of the Staircase, was published by Steele Roberts in 2009.
A month or so ago I got to read at Meow with Harvey Molloy and Saradha Koirala. I don't think I'd ever heard Saradha read her poetry before, and it was lovely especially to hear her read new work that will be in her second poetry collection, which will be published next year. I asked her if I could post this poem because it is the one that stayed with me the most afterwards. I was especially struck by the phrase 'an old window/slowly remembering/it's really a liquid.' Gorgeous and evocative. And, living in a 100-year-old house, I have windows like that, that you can see the lines in where the glass has slowly, slowly slipped down, or slumped down? Another thing I love about that image is that it's ambiguous, to me at least. Is it a positive or negative image? A liquid which moves so sluggishly it appears solid, a solid that still has some ability to change.
People are already putting up their Tuesday Poems, and you can find some more here, at the hub blog: http://tuesdaypoem.blogspot.co.nz/.