I’ve been a bit slow off the mark with getting this post up, but here goes… the Call Back Poet in August was Chloë Callistemon, selected by our sadly departed, Poet-in-Residence, a.rawlings.
There is now only one Call Back Poet to be named at our October event – Sunday October 7 at Brew – so start sharpening that poem… the November event, where all of the Call Back Poets return to the stage is going to be something to behold, with one of them being named SpeedPoets Open Mic Champion for 2012 and walking away with $200 cash in their pocket!
But I digress… let’s get back to Chloë and her poem!
Wings blur, fanned vans beating
a twitchy path through the arching necks and
swaying heads of monstera fronds. A girl
crouches in the darkest shade, watching the wrens
dart home to a cup of grass, spider web, lint,
and blond hair (hers).
Tiny orange gullets pulse with hunger,
voices strained in a hissing whine only parents
could love. She has been watching them for
weeks, spying from the lush green.
She saw the tiny eggs in their blond nest
and waited. Deciding.
She saw the tiny chicks, so like
all the abandoned, pushed chicks she rescued,
then watched die, despite her cradling of the softest
feathers, the frailest bodies, the most fragile fluttering
pulses; despite honey and meal fed from pipettes,
despite the hunts
for flies and spiders. These parents
stuff the mouths of two of many and dart back
into the blinding open sky — none pushed, none
abandoned. She watches the struggling hollow of
half-formed feathers. All sound is burned away
by the midday sun,
except the endless tick of crickets
and the whine of chicks. She edges closer and reaches
for the nest. She pauses, looks around, and
tucks one foot behind a root. She takes a
ragged breath and holds it, closes her eyes
and leans. She falls
and feels feathers and hair and
opens her eyes and lets out breath with a choke.
She stares at her opening hand and in it — grass and
spider web and lint and bond hair (hers) — till she hears,
over the pounding of blood, the purr of wings blurring,
fanned vans beating
unsteady paths through the arching necks
and swaying heads of monstera fronds, and sees
the fledglings explode from the shade, into the bleached
sky and a wash of sweet salt.
Chloë Callistemon can be found more often behind a camera than a mic but occasionally puts away her lenses and pulls words instead. Her writing can be found in odd corners and folds and she is quite chuffed to be amongst some wonderful poets part of a project genuinely trying to do something — Harry Owen’s upcoming anthology For Rhino in a Shrinking World. Follow the project or help at: http://rhinoanthology.wordpress.com/