Tuesday Poem: Echolalia, by Saradha Koirala


This morning’s northerly
throws death out in my path
a tiny carcass blown from a rubbish bag
a broken bird
at the bottom of a plate glass window.

A paper bag twists itself into the gutter
a butterfly has its wings torn off.

An old man walks into a bar
moving like shaking out a rug
he smells of wood-smoke and rain.
like wet logs burning.

I think of houses I’ve visited
with apple cores browning under beds

a cat licking the ends of breakfast
off a bowl in the sink
and the use of words I wasn’t allowed
words I wouldn’t dare use
and words I’d never heard before.

(First published in Moments in the Whirlwind, New Zealand Poetry Society, 2009)

Tim says: I posted this poem for three reasons: first, I love the word “Echolalia”; second, I love the poem that follows it as much as the word; and third, Saradha Koirala is the guest poet at November’s “Poetry at the Ballroom Cafe” session, which will run from 4-6pm at the Ballroom Cafe, cnr Riddiford St & Adelaide Rd, Newtown, on Sunday 21 November. The session will start with an open mike, followed by musicians Josie & Mary Campbell, followed by Saradha’s guest slot.

I understand that Saradha will read a mix of poems from her debut collection Wit of the Staircase and uncollected poems. I’m really looking forward to it.

You can check out all the Tuesday Poems on the Tuesday Poem blog.

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