by Margaret Ruckert
Pre- Journey My life is one arthroscopy after another, she said, shrugging her shoulders. Body language for, I can’t help it or I deal with it or It is what it is – that nebulous phrase mocking like a yes/no question. A red light. Her life didn’t sound fun. Neither is limping. Puts twenty years onto you. She’d never written a poem about it. Confessional poetry is simply twee. Had to agree. That was before of course. Journey to Ekphrasis - haibun I watch the sun overtake the horizon in a blink, a wink … one moment of glory like so many other stars need an arthroscopy the specialist whose computer couldn’t read my scans on disk I was already queasy after bone on bone thin woman in the waiting room this is the third specialist I’ve seen we expect miracles at the edge of day we seek out the horizon searching for something fragile as a lake system solid as a river and so I’m sitting on deck chugging down the Murray flat out doing knee stretches in between photography mechanical smiles hope is fleeting make brief notes centred on self pain is an albatross too heavy to bear in the high rushes somewhere in the shallows a lone white bird stalks its evening meal … I think of her babies back home another specialist appointment knee bends like a river how to grant myself grace for discipline time now for the photos views that knees had obscured the peace of the river speaks to me in tanka I listen cave drawings ancient as myths but these revere short-necked turtles … we connect through art where did the limp go? the pain? walk in disbelief the river was a flow of fortune write my first photobook assess hundreds of scenes shape poems relive mystery every time I read the pages relive the holiday I missed the captain knew the history of each boat engine, draught, owner even boats not visible floated for a time in his talk
Margaret Owen Ruckert is an award-winning poet, whose works are widely published. Her latest collection Sky on Sea is a collection of tanka on Sydney’s waterways and beaches. She presents regular writing workshops as Facilitator of Hurstville’s Discovery Writers and also convenes a local Café Poets group.