From Mrs Saville, England
May 1, 18-
You write to me brother of Archangel,
of Petersburg, of northern climes and lights,
of your quaint coracle like a wicker bird
trapped in its blue green cage.
But I have my own fields of ice and snow,
frozen wastes and compressions; a world
that cracks and falls away, reforming again
in awesome scale whene'er I close my eyes.
You speak of a fiend, with wondrous voice.
In your words you seek to press its stature,
this lone figure with jaundiced imperfections
and huge murderous hands.
Yet here my very quill screams out of devils,
ones you knowingly left me here to face:
the spawn of every fair-intentioned man –
dead flesh quivering with naked malice,
fish-eyed stares and stranger, colder hands!
You asked me once if I did understand –
imagining I guess a sister happily bound,
at home with the gentleman and his monster –
but I should ask you such a loaded question,
and picture the fog that freezes in your throat.
Can your icy mind imagine all the horrors?
That universe of things' that met my eyes,
as a new world of souls was cursed forever
to wander as the wan and undead peoples
of a wretched and unholy land?
My husband lately visited Australia.
Such noble and hardworking folk he met –
men who in the steady breast of England
produce sheepswool, cattle, Norfolk flax
and a harvest of black hands.
It seems there a lifeless creature's set in motion,
whose breath you'll soon be feeling at your nape.
My husband and his peers are its dumb masters,
and a Christian heart will not be your escape.
- 96: NO THEME IXSUBMIT NOW with M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRO AUSTRALIANwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones