Gail Ingram – Water Bud

Ingram LE P&W 1 Nov-Dec 2023

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14th Anniversary Edition, Live Encounters Poetry & Writing Volume One Nov-Dec 2023

Water Bud, poem by Gail Ingram.

Water Bud

after Wisława Szymborska

like the shape of a gentian bud, trembling
before opening, this water drop
on my finger came through 100 year
pipes from a wellspring out west
where the suburbs are spreading,
trickled along eaves, concrete
elaborate facades, porches, driveways, re-sealed roads
and byways, rushed in a brown mess
through wider drains, poured onto
a patchwork of farms, seeped
through the sewage, ran nitrous
into the shingle of braided rivers,
stayed silent
through the bush, reflected
on the hoards of overseas tourists
gone missing from the edges
of mirror lakes, once flashing
their apertures to name her
in so many tongues, so many syllables
running into the mouths of still drowning
children, so soundless
she slipped underground into hidden
rivers, carved boulders and down
through trees turned to stone
until she bubbled up and
up, where the mist and the clouds
soaked her up, until she burst
from the sky into millions of
long liquid lashes, ran off the back
of a humpback whale come up for air
the Tasman, hissed at, then
quelled the bush fires ravaging
Terra Australis, dipped
her toes into the Indian Ocean,
splashed onto the hands of African mothers
weeping, she swept the Atlantic
whipped with the North wind around the heads
of fracking drills in the land of the free, a cemetery
of seeds, I catch
in my feed
and wherever
and whatever happens
in this small globe
will be measured here
come summer, come
the rise of moisture,
come the business of spiders, of
insects through the dew-
beaded tussock, please come
the flower.

© Gail Ingram

Gail Ingram is an award-winning writer from Ōtautahi Christchurch, Aotearoa, and author of two poetry collections, Some Bird (Sudden Valley Press 2023) and Contents Under Pressure (Pūkeko Publications 2019). Her work has appeared in Landfall, Turbine/Kapohau, The Spinoff, The Poetry Shelf, Poetry New Zealand, Cordite Poetry Review, Blue Nib, Barren Magazine and others. Committed to the writer’s life, she supports herself through teaching at Write On School for Young Writers and by freelance editing, including working as managing editor for a fine line (NZ Poetry Society magazine), and a short fiction editor for Flash Frontier: An Adventure in Short Fiction. She has an MCW (with distinction) from Massey University.

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