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Sunday 4 May 2014

A Preview of Gillian Prew's 'A Wound's Sound' (Oneiros Books)


 This Other Winter
“As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.”

(-Leo Tolstoy)

Resting this other winter on the rust muscle of my tongue
I hear all that is violent in one red sound
safe behind my own blue arm.    Where the sun comes
there is the loud dead;
a knot of dragged dogs and their blood;
the clouds reddening like cut swans.      The ruddled sides,
flashing with flies, of  bodies hauled to a swinging weight;
their wrecked eyes slamming the room of their grave.
And the air slaps violet to the wounds gauze,
and the gun buds bloom like sunflowers,    and as all the colours
shift to black               I hear all the good things splinter.  

A Wounds Sound
Sea-sound/a wounds sound/
the white lifting edge of the tide
with its hurl of blinking gulls,
wings risen like silver parachutes.
Stood, in the wind-sound
my ears full/my eyes as the water/
my wrapped-round arms
slipped between two hoarse gusts.
the sun comes
a fetch of light.
A space/
an ambient howl-sound
the gutted beasts.

The Sky Will Pour Open
Ten more summers of rain, they say.                      A defeat
a drowning.                Dust eyelids dog roses
the bees will come, their legs pollen-painted.
A roaring curtain where the sun should be           -  the birds,
quiet and stuck,
in its up-ruin.
everything. Why not?
The sky will pour open some days.

(after Les Murray)
Us all on sorrow cemetery we.
Not warmed with gloss nor glutting sun
under that prize the light is tied to.
No fascist-shoehorn in our guts to make us sore
back then when world was us.
We dipped our good sides in the cool mud.
Us all free then our sung-out grunts. Bloomed/
our ballads bit the trees
and carried down the sheets of rivers.
Coughed lungs sometimes but rich with all we were.
Growing and growing/bedding our squealed litters
with sound no ticking clock/no death-knell.
Wounds sometimes from the edge of living
not blade or punch or swinging hook.
Not the bleeding screams beyond the wall.
Sliced pink our one-life/our gone-forever gifts
here where world
s flung upside down.

 'A Wound's Sound' is available from Oneiros Books, here


  1. Powerful stuff! Must look for the book.

  2. Love the way the first line (of Pigs) inverts expectation with the syntax. Nice. Nice.

  3. Pigs made me cry. Powerful Gillian.