Jill Jones

Seed Wars

the fungus, wide smile
drops brown spore
down the hundred-year old
Nothing is entire, itself
overflowing with life and death,
cells spread
in flight, feathers left
seeds dropping
bringing with them, growing things -

         and wars, the wars
someone, in putting
calculation into the food chain,
may have thought
would add up
but not entirely
when the new leaves
do not look like themselves
and the world begins
eating itself, entire

That Old Dream of Plenty

It’s the kind of weather
that transports
the spark of the rain
as light flutters
(that’s what it does).
I don’t understand
why that is so scary
the amalgam
that includes
thought, love, talk
not unlike the sun

There must be a way
of deciding
how to extract something
that pins this.
That’s not the point
a pin is a death sentence
the end of a beat
an exit strategy

Even if someone says
‘today the numbers were good’
you could lay back
with that
realise if
the numbers are good
the dams will fill
with love
will stream back
into plenty

That old dream
we spoke of
not knowing the meaning
of ultimate
not knowing
how time intrudes
each minute, each
second, each tiny
tiny beat
singing in the wood
of a table
and the song ascends
as if again

High Wind at Kekerengu

talking infinities

gulls riding
what’s left of the air

pacific turquoise

the pressure of the blast
takes the wing energy
to move in it


Could I sell you
what you do not have?
Or what I do not have?

Even words are no longer
the rogue noise.
Even breath has been
slowly taken.

Ideas, lines on a wall
and sunlight
trademark pending.

Who Cares About Our Feelings?

Reluctantly, I aim at Friday
with a mouth full of fruit
an ear of funk, in a street
characterised by exhaustion
masquerading with a little conversation.
A test of poetry perhaps
or matter with its clunky beat.
You can exchange in an email
but it’s not ‘the same’
nor an escape.
Landscape is an enlightenment concept.
Capitalism – of all it surveys.
‘Yeah, we know that’.
Wine is the simpler solution
you can pick it off the shelf
with some confidence
the legacy of a kind of thinking
and a hunky taste
that won’t buy back time
or friends or thought.
It remains a rhythm however
without destiny, certainly
but taste its hardness and complexity
the side of winter, the hills
the vine you negotiate from north
to south in a city
you’d never have thought
of remembering or forgetting.
Then suddenly a saxophone
holding fast against
all attempts at significance.
Who cares about our feelings?
I move, you move
this is living.
There was nothing, I suspect
that in the end
Coltrane didn’t know.
You rise, you part
you also breath into time, all times
when they occur
and the breath, not by some big lie
but the lung and hand
lets you believe that is all we know
not above but here
a love supreme, a love supreme
and then we stand
and then we go.

Jill Jones currently lives in Adelaide. She won the 1993 Mary Gilmore Award for The Mask and the Jagged Star and the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize for Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems. Her most recent books are Broken/Open (Salt 2005) and a handwritten ‘tiny’ Speak Which (Meritage Press, 2007). She has collaborated with photographer Annette Willis on a number of projects. Her poems have been translated into Chinese, Dutch, French, Italian and Spanish. In 2007 she was a featured reader at the 23rd Festival International de la Poésie in Trois-Rivières, Canada. She keeps a regular blog at Ruby Street and also has a website.

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