Poets speaking up to Adani – Judith Beveridge


Waterlily Pond                                  

for Diana Bridge




At the slow-gaited end of summer’s day,

dragonflies dart as precisely as needles

tatting the ornate patterns of lace-charts.

A kingfisher snatches a dragonfly midair—

holds it in its bill like an ampoule

of iridescent magenta ink. Slowly

an egret lifts—smoke from a clutch

of joss sticks. Koi sip at the surface, their lips

like the rubber rings of party balloons.

Another egret rises, legs trailing under

it long and thin as toasting forks.

A damselfly in rapid flight, a scholiast’s pen

annotating in margins, stops, touches

down on a lotus. Then a heron

with the calm posture of a Shinto priest

about to cleanse a shrine with prayer

steps suddenly towards an ibis

swallowing what its caught

from leaf pulp and bottom slime. I hear

the polyphonic tinkling of water, a tizwas

of insects soft-pedalling above white stones.



Judith Beveridge


A version of ‘Waterlily Pond’ was previously published in Meanjin 76, 2 (Winter 2017): 197.





Photos in collage from: CSIRO CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons

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