As always, just who would be named, Call-Back-Poet in July was hotly debated, but with a poem about the ‘black art’ of home midwifery, Andrew Phillips took the title… And after reading the poem, you will see why it took the collective breath of the audience.
The home midwife
She pulls up in a hatchback,
carries her leather case swollen
with years in and out of waters
a little vial of rose oil
and herbs transferred through bellyskin
to help the body yawn.
She walks down a hallway
to brew a pot of raspberry leaf,
fennel, singing nettle
and chats between the heavy breaths,
makes a joke about stir frying the placenta
but doesn’t laugh.
No phone code or knife sharpening
for spine on spine, head up bottom down
or umbilical wrapped around the neck
she has whispering hands;
chinese point massage to coach
an aquatic half somersault
and unfurl the ribbon.
She reads faces too
guides a father’s hands
to be in on the magic of catching skin
slippery as water
it’s a black art
to let a baby happen
in your living room.
Andrew grew up surfing, rock climbing, scrambling through rainforest in South East Queensland and never ever read poetry. ‘It must be some kind of bug bite on a steep traverse through a council library.’ Andrew writes to capture precise moments. He loves haiku and is currently working on a series of convict Brisbane poems. He lives south of Brisbane with his wife and family of boys. He’ll often be heard jumping up to the mic at Speedpoets and blogs poetry at Pied Hill Prawns www.piedhillprawns.wordpress.com
So if you want to grab one of the remaining three Call-Back-Poet spots at the SpeedPoets November showcase, make sure you are there this Saturday, August 4, with a handful of poems in your heart. Sign on for the open section starts at 2:00pm and the microphone is ready for you to make it sing!