Judith Bishop has published poems in The Iowa Review, Quarterly West, Heat, and the Oxford Book of Modern Australian Verse (ed. Peter Porter).
Voices of antipodes
The skywriter fallen,
a slick of lightning foraged in the stars
for his remains.
The road foreclosed, as of dawn.
Had his body crept ashore
in its abandonment to dusk,
as we spoke, was a south wind savaging his chest?
Boats abided on the tides,
near brother and diminished!
Mouths opened on the many.
Then we heard
what dissipates in the silence
There was this: a procession of cloudbands wind skated
over, causing each to align and separate, marching
souled toward a horizontal merger. Flying shibboleths
between us for the tree without a name, we lay apart
under skies white poppies wouldn't scent.
From a bridge late afternoon, planks and
goosewire iron to one side and below: you
and young creekwater were resolute, lark-eyed
trajectories, establishing yourselves between
stone and shone; tripping with the progress of
the world's non-progression; and breaching
Then I came upon you guarding the peace of another,
her white-walled departure. Now her face, beside the
sea: at one remove, but what: a glass inscrutable,
lucid; an only, an ever tenebrae.
Induce a weed's eye view of underwater furling
under. The desire we seeded, we see has come
to this: water twice trodden in while dawdling
on the surface grew at last toward our own
shape, slowly green-mantling the stones we had
crossed: now waxing uneasy, beaten back by
That your ear – that flesh – is radiant, a second dawn
emerging, moving into cold trees: that we mourn the
dispersion of our saturnine rings.
Bearing lame words which cannot leave the
bruised path, nor leap apart to bite a fig
from a branch with the curvature of clouds,
on a sharp strung morning: glass embittered
over days unasked for, thus unanswered.
An incessant, fire-white and brackish pair of cockles,
having once grown fitted to disparate flesh, is
detached; darkdrifted; and gathered at the last.
what remains to be told: a blue campanula
your wax & flare beneath the soles of my child
air tangling her legs: I
heard the moon crash down the vines / for what she yelped
: kill the thief! your words were taken out