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


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

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

Tell me, can a soul
fatten up for winter?


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.


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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