Poetry - Issue 22 | April 2015

Two poems by Bonnie Bishop


The commandant’s house is overgrown with thistle
and ghosts of sailors are playing backgammon
under the eucalyptus trees beside the cathedral.

The stones of the fortress are dappled with lichen.
I am so taken, I could hurl my sandals off the parapet,
dust the marble stairways with a sprig of oleander,

sing like a cicada, retrieve a spiny urchin bare-handed.
A blistering wind spatters the waves with calligraphy,
a language I read with my skin as I swim.

Obedient, I offer to roll down the ramp of the citadel,
juggle oranges, smear my face with figs
and stare at the sun through a glass of honey.

I stretch out helplessly on a woven rug,
light a tallow candle, make an offering of dust
and blood, fall in love with my abductor.

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About the author

Bonnie Bishop has lived in Italy and Greece and hitchhiked from Athens to Copenhagen. She has crossed Canada by train, marvelled at the terra cotta warriors in Xi’an, ridden an elephant in the jungle of Nepal and gazed at the Taj Mahal as the sun set and the full moon rose. Read her book, O Crocodile, (2013, Finishing Line Press).

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