Poem of the Day

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How to Recognise a Poem (Your Own)

By Liana Joy Christensen 

 

You know

when you walk on a bush track at noon

the birds are hushed by heat

but down near your feet leaves rustle

and you smile to yourself

because another creature is near

it’s like that

 

You know

when you feel grumpy for days

nothing’s right and you don’t know why

then it shifts and fat drops of rain

kiss the dust on the pavement

the air is alive with possibilities

just before the water roars down

it’s like that

 

You know

when you get an ear worm

three or more words together

that tease you so much

you can’t get them out of your head

Sometimes it lasts for years

it’s like that

 

You know

when you ride barefoot in winter

and your feet slip off the pedals

and you stub your toes

the pain takes your breath away

it’s like that

 

You know

when your old best friend tells

their new best friend

your deepest, secret shame

and now everyone knows

Then, a universe away,

the cold coal of rage

becomes a diamond rhyme

it’s like that

 

You know

when you wake up from a dream

so luminous you rush to catch it

and though it slips through your net of words

the moth dust left behind on the mesh

glows softly for years to come

it’s like that

 

You know it’s like that

You know it’s like that

You know it’s like that

don’t you?

(Originally published in the US by Cicada, Vol 14, no 3, 2011 and later republished in Fremantle Press Performance Poets, 2013)

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