Writing from Awe (Anne Walsh)

Verity La Heightened Talk

Ice Breaker

I step onto ice I know will break but sometime it has to.
                             It is spring you know,
              my rightful Serval narcissus,
it would be to my advantage for you to take advantage.
              I’ll be pliable resistance. Warm ice.
And have to hold onto you.
              Like I held onto your open white shirt in your close white car.
Like reindeer on the roof. Like Wolves are ecstatics.

Day Kills Me

I am as well as an unloved Beloved can be poisoned
by the blue of your absent shirt, your eyes
since you left a drink of constant presence
and I’m a worthless drunk.
How can I get away from being under the sky?
All your defibrillating blue?
Kingpin in Pinstripes, pulling day out of the holster of your cowboy boot.
And because my eyes are peeled with love I never see it coming.
I’m on the ground marvelling at how quick a shot day is.


              I give thanks
                            by falling
              All my awe goes into it
I resuscitate the skein cloud
              mouth of love
defibrillate the sky
                                            the contrail of grief


Visible in the wild wreck I am is the empire I was.
                             My ruin is the most beautiful architecture.
            Wreckage has made me dervish, an astonishing ravaged split log angel.
In the brown of my eyes pulled up, the Spanish doubloons
             of the autumn squash yellow of debris,
                                          the shock of stained glass intact after blitzkrieg.
                           Through my paper thin lids the skein of letting go,
                                                         the scan of invisible things.
            In Hadopelagic caves I’m the fish star, worming glow, spelunker of light no one imagined
                                                       could survive such pressure.


People have lamps for bodies.
When you’re in hurricane love
you can see it, the light
house, the summer
rental for the soul lit up
like unexpected fireworks that make
a holiday.
The human body is an arsonist.
At any minute she razes what you accepted
and shouldn’t have.
But don’t blame yourself,
there was never an escape plan.
You were meant to die that way. All lit up.


Anne Walsh
is a poet and a story writer whose work falls somewhere on the border of those two countries. But most of the time she has no country at all. She’s a local nowhere. She was shortlisted for the ACU Prize in Literature and The Newcastle Poetry Prize in 2014. Her work has been published in the U.S. and in Australia.

Anne will be reading her poetry on Wednesday 25th May (along with Lorne Johnson and Michele Seminara) at Rhizomic Poetry, Mr Flacons, 92 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, 7 – 9 pm. All welcome, free event, open mic.