back toJacket2

Jill Jones

Three poems

To Sleep Inside Rain

A hazy field
rain cast plummeting
plunge of stone hallways
to our bed’s name
like daisies in place
if not sweet
there is daring.

Rolling into excess
thighs out of tight labels
above nerves
worm among
creases, access
rolling out alive
bloomed sunflowers
crossing light with surface
inside rain.

The effulgence: screen, expanse
the slightest intent
violet flower promises
beneath dark.

That death as good as earth
a little, like sun oblivion

then lie still.

Broken hour

I cracked it into ghost
sleep in a corridor
a broken hour

I had to slap up morning

a lame johnny that I
am I just disappearing
into the sweet grey

rain and rain and

anything the heart
touches rib roar
jostling a wing

dream on inbetween

catching up with
the joke in the day
results leaders questions

what I cannot get

a grip or it stops
beating an old drum
dancing dissonance

its art as fatalist

All that surrounds you

The air is in parts, with before and after.
Now we know what we knew
how psalms cleave valleys
and ceilings raise heavy imprints.
I’ve finished tonight
with a strumming heart.
I’ve unpicked my words again.

How diverse fear is
amongst its impressive materials:
chariots rolling out of glass cabinets
onto famous beach-heads
famous soil, unknown bones
the legendary Earth, its stones now disowned.
And always that abstraction of mystery
hanging over the immaculate.

In the distance rain drains the roof
a extravagance that’s unearthly falls in the garden.
Secrets do not make us strong.
The rungs have worn down.

It seems all procedures these days
magnify vendettas
while beauty hardens in layers.
My word lists amplify
in the light of another honey dawn.
I realise there’s a calming effect in hierarchy.

Perhaps I lack the luminous flower
of inspiration, largesse, whatever.
I’m relieved by sweat, sighs, constant loss
nerves in various directions
jokes about morning’s green.

By the ash of noon
there are prizes within lobbies
uniforms for diverse events
and trepidation gives form
or a suggested smoothness
to history obstructing itself in glue.
The office’s panels take on the simple beauty
of a survival screen.

If nervous night returns
its way is less intentioned
than a bedside’s amiable and solved novel.

Another language has its outpost in my chest.
In what direction do I invite meaning
if I dream of short circuits, leaf-like changes
crystal light not unlike kisses?
Sleep dreams of everything else:
the dispersions, the high red floggings
how authorities cluster
where young soldiers have been shaved pink.
Their armories cluster with urine in doorways.
Necks, steel, lederhosen.

It’s all too much Dasein
ancient antlers looping across water
and modernists still making plans.
Their idioms are for sale.

There were small warning all along.
Inflation, Achilles’ heel and influenza.
The movements have vacillated
we were once arrested at bases.
Crisis speaks nevertheless through its eternal vistas.

I’m hoping time gives a better outline to things
underneath the caked disarray
where belief organises memory
into small green constants.

I’ve been a little wobbly après dinner.
Dry bread marks the end of moderation.
I’ve been patient underneath the dust
as though I’d disowned group sex
or a life of crime in LA
with a bunch of fanboys and chancers.

If you’d monitored my apprehension
in this cold time you’d ask
where are my ideals, my doubts
that ideas would improve rhythm?
What of all these judged thoughts
language thrown in a furnace
the parts of danger?

Although extremities blacken
and the end seems to comes round, simply and directly
I imagine sometimes more
change that colours the edge
part of a lucky discovery
an old abundance we’re gone with
the earth and its noises
conveying models of another
air that joins skin.

Light drips through the canopy
a kingfisher rests on the washing line
between flight and rivers
sleep earns its sequence.
Happiness angles through its slats.
Past the buzz a voice says:
‘nothing more, everything is

Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones is a poet and writer who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been widely published in literary periodicals (print and online) in Australia and overseas. Her books includeThe Mask and the Jagged Star (Hazard Press 1992) Flagging Down Time (Five Islands Press 1993), The Book of Possibilities (Hale & Iremonger 1997) and Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems (Salt Publishing 2002). She was  co-founder, with Laurin McKinnon, of BlackWattle Press, Sydney, and co-editor (with Judith Beveridge and Louise Wakeling)of A Parachute of Blue, an anthology of Australian poetry (Round Table Publications, 1995).

April 2005  |  Jacket 27  Contents  |  Homepage  |  Catalog  |  Search  |
about Jacket | style guide | bookstores | literary links | 400+ book reviews |