Poem- 20 (5.2)

Teesta Review: A Journal of Poetry, Volume 5, Number 2. November 2022. ISSN: 2581-7094


Forest Fragments

--- Gemma Parker




As usual, the forest forgets that it has a job to do.




Each shaking blue wildflower heeds the wind.




Nothing can be built in this forest, but the forest still contains everything that has ever been built.




A young boy climbs a fallen tree with a rope in his teeth.




The forest is too cold to live in.




Every fern frond is the same shade of green – only the afternoon sun fractures them into bronze, ochre and quartz.




The forest is terrifying and it will make you ready.




There is nothing profane about a forest. It has no sides.




In a forest, everything happened, everything is still happening.




The forest does not trade in negations.




There is no version of you, in the forest, that does not know what to do.



Turning to the River

An excerpt of this poem was first published by the University of Adelaide as part of ‘Blooming Poetry’, for which stanzas of poems were planted as seeds and grown from the earth


I take the steep path to the river

gripping a blue rope

I am knotted sinew

this morning a bark shrew


the river is glinting

with that gleaming, gloaming

dawn light, the pure

banishing light


the reeds are shivering

birds take off like dinosaurs

huge wings beating

heavy ancient machinery


pink becomes blue at the river

everything constricts

we go in to get coated in silver

the silver of river-waking


I think my body knows nothing

my body knew to come here

knew to step carefully to dive

into the cold milky river


this river is probably tears

probably blood the veined earth

is always secreting I’ll bathe

in it as if it is light


anyway if I could just reach

across to the island I think

you would know that I am ready

to believe you I wasn’t before


before I was sleeping, I had

a bad night, and in the morning

it was only the faintest whisper

the tiniest aspect of air-pressure


the smell of the clouds

the rumbling wind

that made me rise so early

and climb into the dawn.


Interliminal Encounters: Indian and Australian writers in po(i)etic dialogue, eds Amelia Walker and Aden Burg