Evolutionary Tales Nº1: Flight and Distant Travel

1 July 1998

From this distance, I’m small and quiet,
being all curled up in this poem and waiting

inside the woman who lies spread-eagled,
silenced by the temperament of generations.

Her husband cradles a book, whose contents
no one remembers, and as he reads

she listens, not to this, but the sharp unfurling of wings
within our dim-lit cave; her muscular breath.

Slow march of words crawling back through centuries,
letters inked into leather scrolls,

a dark wind lifting the fabric of memory
and my mother labouring me up to the world’s fleshy rim

beyond which lie the nameless continents
and my father, who has long since put his book aside.

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Lisa Jacobson

About Lisa Jacobson

Lisa Jacobson is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. Her verse novel, The Sunlit Zone (Five Islands Press), won the 2014 Adelaide Festival John Bray Poetry Award. This book was also shortlisted for four other national awards: the Prime Minister's Literary Awards, the Stella Prize, the Wesley Michel Wright Prize and, as a manuscript, for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. An earlier poetry collection, Hair & Skin & Teeth (Five Islands Press), was shortlisted for the National Book Council Awards. In 2011 she won the Bruce Dawe National Poetry Prize. Her work has been published in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, the U.S. and the U.K. She has studied literature at Melbourne and La Trobe Universities, and remains an Honorary Research Fellow at La Trobe. Her new poetry collection, South in the World (UWA Publishing) will be released later this year (2014). She lives in Melbourne with her partner and daughter.


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