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Nocturne #3

by Vahni Capildeo

when I was a child                                       oh, it was sad!

I was round as a balloon

rose like a balloon

floated like a balloon

oh, when I was a child                                so sad!


a balloon in a tree                                         oh, it was glad!

blushing at birds in the tree

light   light   birds

oriole   kiskadee

hopeful balloon in a tree                             foolishly glad!


I married a tree                                             oh, that was hard!

I married it in the night

it changed its nature at night

became   unspeakable   at night

oh my days with a tree                                so hard!


when night covered me                              oh, such deep shade!

when night encaved the tree

enrobed the birds

englobed my soul

oh, when night covered me                        honeycomb shade!

so I slept as a child   hard sad glad           night played


Nocturne #7

Published: October 2020
Vahni Capildeo

is Writer in Residence at the University of York, where their research focus is on silence. Recent work includes Skin Can Hold (Carcanet, 2019), Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, 2020) and Light Site (Periplum Poetry, 2020), reflecting Capildeo’s interest in place, plurilingualism, and immersive or participatory performance, such as Trinidad’s traditional masquerade.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.