Paris Rosemont – Another first kiss

Rosemont LE P&W August 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Special Australian Edition August 2023

Another first kiss, poems by Paris Rosemont. 

Another first kiss*

WHEN COMES the time for me to slip this coil
of flesh—claimed by Death’s everlasting kiss
I’ll gladly step away from love’s turmoil.
It matters not if I am grieved or missed,
for in this life you could not love me well—
to mourn me in my death would be too late.
Death beckons me: its song a lonely bell
and I—a dark swan searching for her mate.

DON’T CRY for me when all you caused was pain
each time you trifled with my eggshell heart.
I shall not wish to meet with you again
unless the sands of time skipped back to start.

KISS ME, my love—let’s kiss away the past;
NOW LOVE me right—till Death cleaves us apart.

* After song lyrics by ‘They Might be Giants
This poem employs an English form: the Sonnet

Grandfather’s Clock 

You stand—short and stout—much
like my grandfather, who gave you to me
                                when you died.
A time-keeper; no longer keeping
time. Your hands stopped moving
                                decades ago. They are painted
neon: glow-in-the-dark green
                                                so you could always be seen. Petrified
in a mid-tock arabesque
of six thirteen. AM or PM, I wonder.
                Surely the morn: of the little I know
of you, I know you woke up to the wassail of a koel each dawn.
Except for that morning you didn’t.
Rusted slivers of the clock’s innards
                                                         line its glass belly like ashes. My thumbprints disturb
dust that has settled over it like a fine muslin shroud.
Even without a pulse, I keep this memento.
                                Other things I inherited from you:
                                                       your punctuality
                                                       your gentleness
                                                       your snaggle-toothed smile.

© Paris Rosemont

Paris Rosemont is a widely published, internationally award-winning Asian-Australian poet. Publications include: Verge Literary Journal, FemAsia Magazine and Red Room Poetry’s ‘Admissions’. She is delighted that her poetry finds eclectic homes, from thought-provoking literary journals to underground Glaswegian zines! Winner: New England Thunderbolt Poetry Prize 2022. Shortlisted: Hammond House Publishing International Literary Prize 2022; Born Writers’ Award 2023. Longlisted: Liquid Amber Poetry Prize 2023; Joyce Parkes Award 2022. Awarded: Atelier Artist-in-Residence Ireland 2024; Kathmandu International Artist in Residence 2024; Varuna Shanghai Lamplight Residency 2023; WestWords/Copyright Agency Fellowship 2023; Varuna Emerging Writers’ Residency 2022.

Paris’s niche is performance poetry. She has performed her original poetry in cabaret shows including Mad Bitches Inc. at the Sydney Fringe Festival 2022, Poetry Jukebox Live (commissioned by Randwick City Council) and the groundbreaking world premiere of Slam Messiah at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta in 2022, where she was commissioned to write and perform original poetic works in response to movements of Handel’s Messiah, alongside a 60-voice choir and chamber orchestra. Paris’s debut poetry collection, Banana Girl, will be published in late 2023. To find out more about Paris, please visit

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