Jane Munro

Griffin Poetry Prize 2015
Canadian Winner

Book: Blue Sonoma

Poet: Jane Munro

Publisher: Brick Books

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Jane Munro reads from The Old Man Vacanas

from The Old Man Vacanas

1

The old man
to whom I’m married
hits the sack again
after breakfast.

A black bear
out in the rain
on Blueberry Flats.

Is it too wet
to hibernate? The muddy creek
burgeoning.

By lunch, he’s up.
The sky’s no lighter – candles
with our tea.

Tell me, can a soul
fatten up for winter?

5

The old man who picks up the phone
does not get your message.

Call again.
Please call again.

The cats leave squirrel guts
on the Tibetan rug.
Augury I cannot read.

You’ve got to talk with me.
I scrape glistening coils
into a dust pan,
spit on drops of blood and spray ammonia.

The blood spreads into the white wool.

I am so sick of purring beasts.

Don’t tempt me, old man.
Today I have four arms
and weapons in each hand.

11

The old man
takes his choppers out
when chicken sticks to them.

He parks them in a glass
of blue fizz.

DNA from fossil bones
tells us we’re siblings to Neanderthals –

and the small arrangements
we make? Language, travel, art? Props
in a little, local, theatre of light.

From Blue Sonoma by Jane Munro
Copyright © Jane Munro 2014

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