Michelle Cahill / Poetry

The Photographer’s Light

The Photographer’s Light

All the petals scatter in the folding light.
The road before me has its own emissary.
Tree branches bow to changed weather,
this afternoon they were sunset’s veins.

Birds lash the dark, dissolving sky,
make a scene of leaving where something
like dying is not the reverse of memory.
The future’s rank with the scent of duty.

We walked past pilgrims, Spirit houses,
ancient monasteries in the dry, orange wind.
Instead of magnolias, you sent crocuses
grown from old cuttings, withered stumps.

Their new life stuns me like moonlight
on the glacier you once photographed:
the dusk, an indigo, slowing down time,
its precise calculation. You stood so still.

The Photographer’s Light first appeared in The Accidental Cage, (IP 2006)


The Accidental Cage, is yet another of what seems, by now, a long string of remarkably strong first books by Australian women poets in the past five years or so. Clive James, claimed a year or two ago from the safety of London, that we are now living in a ‘golden age’ of Australian poetry. If so, it looks as if, from the evidence of books like The Accidental Cage, that it has quite a few years to run yet. Geoff Page

While Michelle Cahill is a Sydney poet, her poems reflect her global personal history. They trace her experience as a map attempting to make sense of fragmentation. Poems from Nepal, India, Thailand and Laos reflect Cahill’s interest in the world, the pleasure of exploring new words, translating experience for self knowledge and understanding. Kristin Hannaford

The author’s book can be purchased directly from Interactive Publications’ website or amazon.com

Michelle Cahill, The Accidental Cage

Michelle Cahill, The Accidental Cage

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