Postcards 1-6


Here on the hill / under a lunate sliver / blood oranges framed by
the brow’s determined wings / summon splintered glass / broken
limbs // I hear you crow  . . . and crow . . . and crow / place on your 
head a razor wreath / then early wake to the ancient acrid scent of
burning sage / mugwort and myrrh in a morning of birds / gorge on
young cherries // the bleeding fruit of weeping / trees knowing
nothing of poetry or music / but the humming of bees / and the fact
that the moon is not your face. 


Here on the mountain / where trees bind earth to air /
breath is wind-spun  / fine / feather-poised /
where none pay heed / to my words or yours /
we still can hear / the children cry as we
walk with care / among the souls of the dead


A perfect space / time of dark silence /
with you at full-tide // now do I wish /
I was there / my love / to you


When you approach this place / lash yourself to the pillar
of crystals / formed by our tears / beware lest your weeping /
dissolve it — for the songs / do truly transfix.  There is no looking
back / no memory but the base-note of myrrh / thorns / rain on
scorched earth / lemons in salt / in a summer the colour of blood /
oranges / raspberries / rubies / pert nipples / core of an apple



recessive incendiary keys / under wraps wait to trigger /
more dominant dervishes / summoning any god that will
listen / to mince and kohl // the bling of fifty long eyed slashes
annulled in the reticence / of breasts with lashings of mint /
lemon for wounds / and a plastic knife if you’re lucky



Here in the garden the filament / strains credulity / pebbles parch
and grind / the skink flutters / its sleek bronze sides / tip-tilts
its head and flicks its tongue / against the sere and bitter herb //
the ground is steeped / in well-intentioned blood / the tenure of men
who would be / gods shakes the earth //  there is no fire / only
violets / brief faces from another place / the sweet smell of death.

A Note on the Poem:
The poet and artist Margaret West was one of three poets chosen to be part of our Counterpoint collaboration with Musica Viva. Sadly, as the project bore on, Margaret's health began to deteriorate, and she passed away just as the project came to its conclusion. The poems that she left for the Counterpoint project were marked as drafts, but were clearly highly refined works. Had she had the chance, perhaps Margaret would have published a different version to this poem. We believe though that the quality of these poems is clear, and were determined that they be published.

Go to Margaret West's profile to read more poems