Deeper into the Blue

by Carrie Sonneborn

Illustrations by Judith Rosenberg

(Boris Books, viii + 40 pp, $11.95 Australian, ISBN 0 646 33856 0)

The first thing that strikes you about Deeper into the Blue is that, for a small book, it is wonderfully inclusive. So much is explored: the warmth at the beginning of a relationship, the distress and then the coping at the end. The gothic superstructure of our regrets that a coffee breath can blow away. Issues relating to feminism handled with a light and sometimes gently ironic touch. The loneliness of separation, the joys and comforts—and sometimes the pain—of friendship. Beaches and cities, trees, myths and the stars: so much is held up for our contemplation in such a brief compass.

From the Introduction by Ron Pretty

There are 31 poems in the book. Here are three of them.

Ruben.gif (2000 bytes)

Rubenesque

I'll have none of this
anorexic nightmare skeleton
fragile girl child twig
to snap between
his fingers
and sit on his knee
tail wagging.

I want a man
who wants a woman complete
with generous thighs striding
breasts that sway
with heavy thoughts
and buttocks
you can sit on.

I’m going hunting
with my strong arm and bow
for healthy indulgence — so pass
the dairy butter jam crumpets
passionfruit smoothies applied
directly to my hips all in the
Name of Womanhood.

Advice.gif (1491 bytes)

Advice to Women

Get used to being told you're too emotional
Get used to being told your feelings aren't important
Get used to being told it's all in your head
patted on the head
patted on the ass
touched
          squeezed
         shaped
moulded
      look like this
look like that
   being looked at
        being laughed at
act like this
     act like that

Get used to being humble
to serving
    smiling
        being quiet
listening
   talked down to

Get used to being told it's for your own good
you're stupid

Get used to being cheerful
self-sacrificing
     putting up with it
waiting
waiting
waiting
ignored

Get used to looking after others
not looking after yourself
to needing not getting
     to loving those that hurt you
those who haven't earned it

Get used to feeling sorry
  for those who don't deserve it
being nice
      caring
             bleeding
     never getting angry

Get used to not saying what you think
Get used to feeling sad and not knowing why

Get used.

KAK.gif (1676 bytes)

Kakadu

Engulfs you like a womb
hot, pulsating, feeding you
what you need
what you'd forgotten
while the tepid Timor Sea
licks gently at the coast line.

The highway melts red dust,
sweat, yellow water, blue sky,
sunlight, bushfire, smoke
buzzing around your face
climbing up your leg
brushing against your neck
trickling down your arms ...

Pulling you back, back, back
20, 40, 60, 100
million years
into the Mesozoic
where giant reptiles tremble the deep
vermilion jungles
wade the wetlands under
muscular monsoon clouds
flocked with brolga, jabiru, crocodile  ...

Something snatches you from below
pulled under gasping
with swallowed recognition
as the womb deep knowing bursts
catching you as you plunge
into the bubbling pool
of consciousness and stars ...

Then still silent cool
rocking like a cradle
into the soft black night
dripping with sleep
flying foxes squabble in the treetops
eons slowly wheel across the sky
towards morning.

 

Copyright Carrie Sonneborn, 1997


Boris Books, P.O. Box 1388, Woden, A.C.T. 2606, Australia

Back to Backlist Page

Back to Boris Books Home Page