Three songs to rain, translated by a kōwhai tree

Susan Wardell




Our thousand sides, wind-twilling, twist will un-tambourine

the sun-press, sky-willing, with whissssh

to shushle your air-roaring, cloud crickle, pick up the fierce

passing, rasp-dancing our free slim hustle

wind-rub on web tendrils and the world rolls, word-hushhhh, we roar

the fixed measure of storm shoulder, un-set the sung-form of low waters

and the wet soles of our many tongues and curl of under-youngs

will whet their whistles, as air thick ushle gives over, whole willing





De-rip, and pling, we flow-over, and upside send, down

one shot after another, the fine art, of plim and maid in water-ring

gloss-shine, the sleek rind of the welcome-ing, our wax

too full to sip, sheds water-skin to let fall up and ripple

the circle-arts of earth pools, one after another, sing, sing to over

flowing, flaw-less run, the excess free for silver-ing





Under, erred our earth-eyes blind and finger-deep death truly

mother limb lies down to un-beget, her edges umber to the eek, as were

our own un-learning to touch, her dark

undoes all the mouths own ends be-neath, oh wet

the grown down tender, rills to break our own knot, knot

un-making in soft tremble, in in-stilling rumble, rough rush o’er

the rich be-drawing, come come sluice

of glisten-dark, spore-hustle, and mush-hungry

coo the death death woodly, rebegin



Susan Wardell is from Dunedin, New Zealand, where she lectures in Social Anthropology, while raising two small humans and a modest indoor jungle. Her poetry has been published in a variety of journals throughout Australasia. In 2019 she placed second in the NZPS International Poetry Competition, and first in the International ‘Micro-madness’ competition.

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