A poem by Kona Macphee

 
Poem for Lily Song
For Chris, i.m. Lily
 
When January takes up residence
in curt encampments all about the Summer Palace,
daily the shield of ice across the lake
is thickened by another ward of frost;

and though the fishermen on wide-legged stools
each morning re-inflict the round incisions
night has thinly healed, and drop to black
their importuning lines, there will be spans of days
when all that bait, that beckoning, is left to hang
high in dark water, strung in the beyond
of fish unsummoned by the starry glint of hooks:

but Lily, in the spring, when breaking ice
salutes the thaw with fire-cracker ricochets
around the ornamental gardens, when,
between the fractured plates, a thousand fissures
widen in the downward seep of light,
when water warms and brightens, then the fish remember,
and to the air, they rise, they rise.
 
(from What Long Miles forthcoming from Bloodaxe March 2013)
 
 
Kona Macphee grew up in Australia and lives in Scotland. Her second
collection Perfect Blue, published by Bloodaxe, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for
2010.

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