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Thursday, 28 May 2015
2015 MELITA HUME POETRY PRIZE SHORTLIST FOCUS: JESSICA MAYHEW
Jessica Mayhew's pamphlet, Someone Else's Photograph, was published in 2012 by Crystal Clear Creators. She graduated with a Masters from University College London in 2015. Her poetry and fiction have been published in magazines and online, including in Ambit, Stand and Staple.
Monks stay put
so they don’t hurt the shoots.
We trawl through gutter-run
the colour of precious wood
for another meal of rice
while cockroaches tide up walls
above the lapping line.
Fon Tok, rain tongue
spitting on a foot of soi water,
lightning I cannot pronounce
but count, gaining ground
each time saffron dusk cracks –
five miles, four miles, three.
We lie with windows open,
swiping mosquitoes we can only hear
but smear someone else’s blood,
mingled with mine, down white paint.
When I sleep, the rain
is bats back home
that have somehow learned to sing
the splashy notes of blackbirds
decked with frost, a proper October.
Here, alms bowls fill
with baht and water,
monks crouch, protected by the blue
of old tattoos, the five lines,
Buddha, serene, around every neck,
but all this season, your chest when bare, was wet.
We should make an amulet of the rain.
poem copyright the author 2015