Patricia Sykes – Notes Towards a Finality

Sykes LE P&W April 2024

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing April 2024.

Notes Towards a Finality, poem by Patricia Sykes.

Notes Towards a Finality

1. Shared

ACGT, DNA’s alphabet
lethally creative
selves everywhere

wary and configuring
one huntsman surfaces
as large brown arachnid

nearby a doze of lambs
bleating and suckling
to keep ewes alive

find a mercy hole
crawl into it, dream
like a foetus

scribbles of light
turn out to be bacteria
minute and deadly

the wind
a sorrow plough
churning the white ache

of lost spines
some who travelled by road
some by water

some who did not know
how to drive, some who
did not know how to swim

legerdemain then
as an exquisite corpse
consigned to a silo

only to re-emerge
as rodent food
in lieu of ambrosia

2. Personal

The T at the end of losT
as adamant
as a border guard

the barrier between
then and now
confining us

to absence
In losing each other
to the invisible

we’ve rendered
each other mute
your voice

a canticle of dust
our love reduced to junk
like the detritus

of a particle collider
and the dying worlds

© Patricia Sykes

Patricia Sykes is a poet and librettist. Her poems and collections have received various awards, including the Newcastle Poetry Prize, John Shaw Neilson award and the Tom Howard Poetry Prize. She has read her work widely and it has featured on ABC radio programs Poetica and The Spirit of Things. Her collaborations with composer Liza Lim have been performed in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, Germany, Russia, New York and the UK. She was Asialink Writer in Residence, Malaysia, 2006. A selection of her poems was published in an English/Chinese edition by Flying Island Books in 2017. A song cycle composed by Andrew Aronowicz, based on her collection The Abbotsford Mysteries, premiered at The Abbotsford Convent Melbourne — now an arts precinct  — in 2019. A podcast of this work is available on various platforms.

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