The Poetry Reading


There are five young women on the dais
And four of them read their poetry
In fits and starts - sometimes hesitant
Sometimes assured and bold
Speaking from the floor that represents
What is well-founded and fertile
The earth mother Papatūānuku
Above which extraordinary images
Traceries, totems and grotesques
Make claims for the world of men,
And questions are asked about
Forms and motivations

One of the poets mentions
The high seat or sky-throne of Odin
With an unpronounceable name Hliðskjálf
And a tree big enough and old enough
To grow roots right through the earth
To become sea-serpents in the welcoming oceans.
But I think of Yggdrasil and the Norns
Who draw water from the Well of Fate
To sustain the tree - and tell of what is
What was and what should be
Drawing up meanings cast as runes or names
For what is lost but may yet be found.

Doubtless now it will come to women
To have the last word in the last days
In a world run from the alpha to the omega
To the seventh seal and the seventh angel.
This is the dawning of the Age of Amazons
As beauty awakes and ancient veils are lifted -
Of the Warrior Princess and Wonder Woman
Bouncy, chosen daughters in leather pelmets
Trained and equipped with sword and buckler
To take arms against a sea of male foibles
And rescue the world from perfidy and dishonour
In a maelstrom of improbably costumed martial arts.

by Keith Shorrocks Johnson

Comments (1)

beauty awakes, ancient veils lifted, good job