after Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Giant Snail’
(for PS Cottier)
A peaceful life is arduous
to attain; desire’s
not enough, nor positive aim —
one side’s withdrawal is always the other’s gain.
What germ inside us inclines towards hate?
It seems to me there must be something
rank and spindly
tangled in the hub of our hearts
disordering their true rotation
until we become beings whose frequency
is attuned to blame.
Therefore, I hold my words
on a parsimonious rein.
Reading Bishop, a distinctive stillness comes.
Like her giant snail I too inch forward
my own amorphous, unguarded
foot absorbing sharp barbs of gravel
avoiding rough spears of grass
as I push, bull-headed, to gain a crack
in God’s sanctuary before sunrise.
© Michele Seminara
Michele Seminara’s first poetry collection Engraft explores the darker aspects of the human psyche and relationships. This debut collection by a strong new poetic voice is being launched by distinguished poet Martin Langford.
“Engraft is a masterwork. Seminara’s deep gift lies in her fusion of the viscera of life with a transcendent poetic vision. By turns terrifying and tender, loving and lost, Seminara is a major new voice in contemporary poetry.” –Charles Bane, Jr.
Friend in Hand Hotel
58 Cowper St, Glebe (upstairs bar)
Saturday 6th February 2.30pm
For details ring 0414 767 089
To order Engraft via paypal or direct credit please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also order direct from Island Press at 29 Park Rd, Woodford NSW 2778.