Gifts that Bind

Indrani Perera

a different brew
the sun is shining        	   Australian blue
          	outside has a crisp shell
inside by the window  	   is soft-centred nougat
I walk down the street 	  past whipped lawns to the creek         	
         	   where I sit on a rock by the water
and watch the birds     	   soar along the flyway
on the way home         	     I forage for fallen leaves
           	    peppermint, cinerea and grevillea
and gather acacia pods	to use in my dye pot
then I cook up a brew    	    a soup of leaves
         	sandwiched between tiles
to release their colour    	    leave their shape on paper
I iron the dry paper      	    turn it into covers for books
      	add a signature of five pages or so
and bind it all together 	    with linen thread
when I’ve finished      	    I’ll put the book
     	in an envelope with a note
and send it to you       	    so you can write a poem
binding threads
it may look like a note book with a cardboard cover
and spine stitched together with thread
it may look like a place where you can write
down your thoughts and feelings
it may look like a journal with patterned end papers
and smooth, blank pages
it may look like an invitation to sketch your day
and draw your life
of course you are right — it is all these things
and more
it is a gift to you filled with love
in every stitch
it is a gift to you crafted with care
in every choice
each page holds how highly I regard you
and how much you mean to me
if you want to use it as a journal or notebook that’s fine
but I know the love will seep through the paper
and into your skin as you write
because love is like that
— nothing can hold it once it has been set free
Catching Some Zeds
I was going to write a poem
for this issue — really I was.
But I was exhausted from lockdown
and holding a family together

Indrani Perera is a Sri Lankan/German/Australian poet and maker living and working on Wurrundjeri Country. She is the creator of the Poets’ Express e-mail newsletter, founder of The Pocketry Almanack print journal and host of the Pocketry Presents podcast. Indrani is also the author of Promote Your Poetry and the poetry collections Defenestration and Pas De Deux. You can find her at



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