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2 poems by Diane Fahey


First light

of spring's first day.

On the sliding glass doors

of my blue house

colours garnered, it seems,

from endless orchards

of pomegranates,


The wind blows as if it means to be

felt, to be heard,

veers every which way,

all edge, all flow,

riddles and riffles

the winter-honed leaves.

What messages are hidden

in the balm of this wild wind

that might deliver us

from ourselves, and to ourselves

in times such as these –

so much of Earth's life

at the mercy of drought, fire, ice-melt,

of plagues, ancient or new;

in times such as these

when it can seem

we don't know who

we are, or where we are going.

Back in the present moment,


the first yield ever of limes,

the lemon tree speaking, too,

and on the ageing apricot tree

one blossom.

A blackbird I know

lands on the back fence,

the curled plume in her beak

irradiated –

its glory a momentary

fact about the world –

then lifts into the leafy

deeps, nest bound.

Late Spring Gardens

Rain falls on the Botanic Gardens,

its commonwealth of leaves,

almost unseen

but with force enough to be heard.

Many sounds, one sound.

On the Japanese Barberry,

its trunk half-eaten by ticks,

the bone of heartwood exposed,

ant trails ascend through

a long papery wound.

High up, in wreaths around

the boughs, yellow flowers

like pollen magnified,

and wreathing around them,

the bees, creating

as they work, a bee-voice,

a sonorous descant on the rain.

An atmosphere of harvest,

of nurturance, of damage,

carried on the air I breathe.

Later, at home, Bach will be waiting,

and other composers of silence,

of the movements of the soul,

small or epochal,

that would be traced, re-enacted

in closed rooms over centuries,

and sometimes in the scented

rooms of spring from where,

sometimes, bees could be heard

and faint, solacing rain.

In my own garden

the semibreves on the climbing rose

will harbour daylight, still;

the bees, soon to go home

or fall asleep in flowers.

Drifting out through the screen door

a cello suite will weave itself

around the leaves, the washed-pink

roses, the sturdy trunks,

each step I take a springboard

towards night, towards a new season

of lightning-seeded blazes

planted in ancient forests,

of ever more life in flight

as we approach the summer years.

Hold to the days of grace,

enter their brimming, humming air.

Amid rumours of flame

wait at midnight windows for

cool winds from Antarctica.


Diane Fahey is the author of thirteen poetry collections, November Journal the most recent. She has won major poetry awards, and has received literary grants from the Australia Council. Her poetry has been represented in over seventy anthologies. Diane holds a PhD in Creative Writing from UWS.


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