Five Poems


Jill Jones





Wake-up Theatre



All meat and leaf, bone

and branch kiss me alive

like a yellow bright tree


Life’s not a dream, even

dogs can’t be quiet


Undergrowth rebukes me

loads up my shoulders

exhales its eternal grass


I think of what I do now

as if it’s still night-blooded


No-one sleeps when life

remembers its dream








Trees tip sky into crazy deep green


Smoke crawls along tiles

wracked and yellow


A red brassiere wraps round

the sign at the bus stop


Another saviour gapes

from lines of white announcements


‘Please do not desert me utterly’


A baby’s alone on the square

shaking its blue booty


What will I find beyond waking?

Stranger, what will you bring me?





‘Sometimes, almost more’



Some people have never felt rain or seen snow

Fifty-two weeks is twice the alphabet

Seventy per cent of house dust is skin

I was once the youngest person alive, though briefly


There was no full moon during February 1865

the last year Emily Dickinson ventured beyond Amherst

‘Drifts were as difficult then to think’


A hummingbird’s heart can beat 1,260 times per minute

It’s claimed female ladybirds experience orgasms lasting

     up to 30 minutes

My tongue is my strongest muscle


But is it true that one is the loneliest number?

Some people never fall in love



                                       [all words in quotes, including title, are from

                                 Emily Dickinson’s poem No. 995, sent in a letter

                                  to her cousin, Louise Norcross, in March 1865.]








All confessions lie in their accounts

   twilight rearranges its geography


A mountain doesn’t blame its height

   water falls with memory


There’s a number easy to ignore

   it hears distance in an insect chime


Background shapes into weather

   fallow wastes beyond the verandah


Mortality and love are inseparable

   longing at the foot of a hill


There’s pressure on valves of the heart

   its miles of rustling glades





Could Escape



The world’s panels and gears

are squeaky, that we admit


You can wait for the big moon

but this is no time to howl


Ghosts of the nursery

hang longer than

the ghosts of our theories


Any of us could escape, that’s true

past airs which ring

too much with tinny muzaks


Or let’s dance in the faithful double

of the chest’s beating









Jill Jones lives on unceded Kaurna land.  Her latest book is Acrobat Music: New and Selected Poems.  Her work has appeared in Arc, Blackbox Manifold, E·ratio, Jacket2, The Manchester Review, Meanjin, Poetry, Poetry Review, Shearsman, Southerly, The Stinging Fly, takahē, and many other periodicals in Australia, Canada, Ireland, NZ, Sweden, Singapore, UK, and USA.  She currently writes and teaches freelance, and previously has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.  Jill Jones is on Instagram and on Facebook



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