Jenny Lewis

Jenny Lewis is a poet, children’s author, playwright and song writer. Her last collection, Fathom, was published by Oxford Poets/ Carcanet in 2007. She has been commissioned by Pegasus Theatre, Oxford to write a verse drama, After Gilgamesh to be performed in March 2011. She is also working on a linked collection of poetry, Taking Mesopotamia, for which she has received a generous grant from Arts Council South East. She teaches poetry at Oxford University.


                                                                         Photograph by Frances Kiernan   



for Pedro Bosch


this is the place where broken
things come to rest from their brokenness

they can’t get the taste of terracotta
out of their mouths

they know they came from mud,
only yesterday

they were a substance
to be walked on
now their bridles, palms, trunks,
wings hold unexplained shadows
the moon
eyes the world from their jagged holes
above them, peacocks roost in the trees –
Neem, Arjuna and the Banyan
under which Krishna sat
scooping butter
the bark’s twisted textures
are ropes going into the earth
resting before the spring burst
of growth, green after green
reaching for the sky with its
shattering light.



Silver Oak


Instead of heat and light
grey shrouds:
each morning a burial
we fight our way out of
grevillea robusta
a sentinel of stillness
seen through muslin –
would look at home
among the tundra’s herds
and frozen, sea-lapped edges:
yet this is India too,
her private winter face
cleansed and secretive  
in her dressing table mirror
with thoughts of spring
a world turned away from –
the make-up and saris,
the razzmatazz of blossom.