It’s no surprise that my good friend from Australia, Wendy, would share out an amazing book connecting various kinds of writing to the Australian landscape, history and social fabric, called Reading the Landscape. Which she did, on Twitter, and which I tried to get here in the US via library system but to no avail — the title is a regional publication. She and I chatted about the book a bit in Tweets.
Then, Wendy wrote and shared a poem — Read the Land — that I really loved after reading it at her blog site, and I started to consider a poetic response (as some of us in CLMOOC are often apt to do). Riffing a poem off the lines of someone else is something I consider to be a complement (I’ve written about this before).
Here is what I wrote as poetic response to Wendy:
It might be that your teeth
touch dirt, that your tongue
might hurt, that your body
could cry out for a quick escape
But when a writer shares a verse
of the wide open landscape,
their poem becomes water,
and our thirst, slaked
I struggled over that last line — the rhythm is intentionally off and the rhyme, false — so I was happy when Wendy noticed and noted in appreciation how I used “slaked” as the final word. I wasn’t sure it really worked until she commented on it.
Peace (poems on the distant line),