poetry remembers
everything that exhaustion
strews across a wasteland
where people walk in old shoes
with their love darkening
in sad baskets of flesh

once I sat on a train
and watched the clouds set fire
to a city of blank windows

once a little girl
whispered me a song
and I saw that my gaze
was the garden she plays in

I don't want to leave
forgetting all these gifts
granted to my secret
and undeserving heart

there is a hand which opens
and a hand shutting
there is a name
and a garden of weeds

there is a snake
which sings a dream of flame
springing from cold ashes

there is a knife which trembles
through the joyous waters
of each mute tongue

from New Music (Five Islands Press, 2001), edited by John Leonard. Used and reprinted by permission.

Click here for a reading by Alison Croggon of Edith Speers's "Love Sonnet #9," followed by this poem.

Click here for a video of the Melbourne premiere of Leonard Lehrman's setting, Jan. 5, 2002.