Libby Hart

Libby Hart’s first collection of poetry, Fresh News from the Arctic (Interactive Press, 2006) received the Anne Elder Award and was shortlisted for the Mary Gilmore Prize. She received an Australia Council for the Arts international skills and arts development studio residency at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig in Ireland. During this residency (2008) she wrote the book-length poem ‘This Floating World,’ which will be performed by Teresa Bell and Gavin Blatchford (2010). Publication of ‘This Floating World’ is forthcoming.



The very thought of you

You’re the face I’m seeking
each time I think of love
and my yearning covers
all the miles I’ve travelled tonight.

I’m alone, but I’m cuddling up to the thought of you,
of your fingers that come to me as if ghosts
inside a memory so crystalline.

I’m rounding my passion,
curving it to your meaning,
as you leave a kiss against lip
as a hand strokes my hair
as a breath is tattoo-delivered against brow
with a sigh so full of thought.

That’s when you leave me again.
That’s when I remember
I’ve been meaning to tell you
that you hold my soul in your hands.

There is silence at the gate,
all my angels press against the fence.


River poem

To capture the moment just before it happened:

The river was epic,
everything coiled and flowed
inside a great restlessness.

Then came a ribbon of blood,
then came curlicues made by stone,
then came the water, inking.

Canoeists passed silently like ancient travellers.


A step-by-step approach 

You walked a straight line.
He circled around you.
You stood and stared into the sun.
He handed you a blindfold.
You got used to the feel of it.
He then led you down the garden path.
You walked with the smallest of steps.
He talked along the way.
You listened to those whispers.
He smiled when he made you laugh.
You walked in bare feet.
He guided you with fingertips.
You stopped, hesitatingly at the edge of sand.
He said: Trust me.
You felt a soldier crab climb your toes.
He seemed too preoccupied to notice.
You listened to the sound of the sea.
He kept his eye on the horizon.
You felt the roaring wind.
He steered you closer to its strength.
You blinked when the fold finally left your face.
He blinked in sympathy.
You looked at his quiet eyes.
He turned and then looked away.
You said something about how his hair moved in the wind.
He couldn’t see the point of it.
You said that it left his eyes to linger, to search out the world.
He said the wind was by no means a friend.
You said: Trust what you know.