Category: Poems

Multilingual poem by Merlinda Bobis

Introducing our podcast with Filipino-Australian poet Merlinda Bobis, I mentioned her poem ‘siesta’, an innovative multilingual work. In the podcast, she spoke about her writing in Filipino and English, and the way in which it is mediated by her first language, Bikol. Thanks to Merlinda’s generosity, we are able to reprint her poem ‘siesta’ in this blogpost so that readers can enjoy an example of her multilingual writing.


 take me not
 in mid-winter,
 only to thaw the frost
 of your old bones
 imagining how stallions rear
 in the outback,
 hooves raised to this August light,
 kakaibang liwanag,
 kasimputla’t kasinglamig
 ng hubad na peras.*
 but take me
 on a humid afternoon
 made for siesta,
 when my knees almost ache
 from daydreaming of mangoes,
 and just right,
 at higit sa lahat
 mas matamis, makatas
 kaysa sa unang halik ng mansanas.*
 *‘alien light,
 as  pale and cold
 as a naked pear’
 plucked from my tongue         you have wrapped
 in a plastic bag with the $3 mango 
 from woolworths 
 while i conjured an orchard
 from back home — mangoes gold and not for sale, and
 *‘above all,
 sweeter, more succulent
 than the first  kiss of the apple.’   

From Summer was a Fast Train without Terminals (Spinifex, 1998, 8).

Sound as meaning experiment by Lisa Samuels

Hello poets and readers,

Have you read the Poetry in Process blogpost about Lisa Samuels and multiplicity yet? Don’t forget we’d love to hear any comments about what resonated with you. Today I am excited to bring you one of Lisa’s poems that experiments with sound as meaning and was featured in the Poetry New Zealand Yearbook. This is a revised version included in her latest collection Foreign Native (Black Radish Books, 2018). Hope you enjoy it! 


People talk about the vanguard
takes a turn      its conscript energy
acts on macro-particles
as though you choose or Resolute
you’re given mesh back to the deal
your limbs eye dim harmonics
rise for tiny ones    Crash at you
crash at me      “give us a family look”

Found text manipulation by Melinda Smith

Hello poets and readers. Have you listened to the podcast with Melinda Smith yet? Don’t forget we’d love to hear any comments about what resonated with you. Today Poetry in Process is excited to bring you one of the found text poems Melinda referred to in the interview, about Ernie Ecob. Hope you enjoy it!

Ernie Ecob . . . was arguing against providing bathroom facilities in shearing sheds for female shearers because he said women only want to be shearers for the sex. My mind melted at the number of levels on which that was the weird and wrong thing to say. Melinda Smith

Poetry in Process Podcast, 28th February 2019

Ernie Ecob as a Bare-Bellied Yoe

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