A Quartet Of Poems
April 24, 2020
While the short poems in this collection aren’t connected by a common theme, they are all poignant and vivid in their message and the images they create. ‘Sun-Child’ and ‘Bright Star’ are evocative not only for the way in which they’ve been written, they also hold a deeper meaning for Lea. The names used within the poems are based on people who’ve played a meaningful role in her life at some point. ‘White’ is Lea’s ode to her Italian grandmother, and acts as a reminder to live one’s life on one’s own terms – without any regrets. The final poem in this collection, ‘A Question Answered’, was penned by Lea during a train ride to Kashmir in an attempt to convince herself of the foolishness of missing her pen pal.
about the heat of your hands
and the music in your hair,
the curve of your eyelashes
and the angles in your elbows.
Losing my name in your scent
too bright, too fast
I turn to the voice that calls me
“Samson. Remember. Don’t.”
I call uncertainly
into what I thought
a water-parched well.
the smiling echo responds:
murky water losing form
to my reflection.
Having been taught to colour inside the lines,
to think of all she saw and heard and felt
as having to fit into the four forced lines of right-ness,
to never talk to a stranger
(she cheats on this one, they hadn’t anticipated what mere eye-contact could say)
to only drink fresh, clean water that unknown hands haven’t touched,
she flinched at the intimacy of words.
Of his words.
Was it ‘right’ to make strangers behind glass doors smile?
Would they find out if she dug a tunnel out of these lines
she’s limping now?
Would anyone really care where the water she drank came from?
every ocean is salty,
imaginary lines are easily stepped over,
and no one can tell if you colour outside the lines
when your current favourite crayon is white.
A Question Answered
Sitting on a sun-warmed train to Kashmir,
I miss you.
The little girl in the dark brown skirt,
steals my attention away from your pale blue eyes.
Clutching at a plastic bag,
knuckles white (like the upside of your palm)
eyes closed (like you, just before you sneeze)
she’s swaying and rocking with the metal
(like we would be if you were here).
An alien landscape that you would have loved,
narrow sleeper beds that we would have shared in night-secret,
poems about slavery you would stare at monk-like,
a shared journey!
Would I enjoy it?
and the little girl in brown puked.
Lea Jacob is a freelance writer, poet and mother to two beautifully chaotic little (human) beings. She doesn’t write as often as she’d like, but is constantly thinking up titles for her next book of poems.
Read her articles here.