Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Stooping to Drink

photo: t knouff

In class tonight, I have to present a poem of my own and one from the reader. I chose a poem by David Malouf called Stooping to Drink. I love it so much I thought I'd share it with you. I particularly love the last 7 lines. It makes me want to drive straight out of Sydney and find a dam...

Stooping to Drink

Smelling the sweet grass
of distant hills, too steep
to climb, too far to see
in this handful of water
scooped from the river dam.

Touching the sky where like
a single wing my hand
dips through clouds. Tasting
the shadow of basket-willows,
the colour of ferns.

A perch, spoon-coloured, climbs
where the moon sank, trailing
bubbles of white,
and school kids on picnics
swing from a rope - head

over sunlit heels like angels 
they plunge into the sun
at midday, into silence
of pinewoods hanging over
a sunken hill-farm.

Taking all this in
at the lips, holding it
in the cup of the hand.
And further down the hiss
of volcanoes, rockfall

and hot metals cooling
in blueblack depths a hundred
centuries back.
Taking all this in
as the water takes it: sky

sunlight, sweet grass-flavours
and the long-held breath
of children - a landscape
mirrored, held a moment,
and let go again.

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