new zealand electronic poetry centre

Bernadette Hall

online works

Trilogy: Be Still and Know

(as painted by Joanna Margaret Paul)

The clouds stack up like gorgeous quilts on the horizon.
The body is the ship that will take us to an honest place.

I separate out the three paintings:   the brown cross-hatch
of a haystack, a sky smear crossed with a scarlet thread,

a green ripple of reeds. I spread them room by room
through the high house as if they might hold everything

together she’s gone and done her crazy thing again.
I change my mind, I give them back to one another

above the bed. If I stretch my head back on the pillow
the whole psalm is there quoniam ego sum deus.

The sky is a radiant lake; the cloud, a beautiful swimmer.
I fear the terrible dancing shoes, the blinded boy.

You hid small treasures in the patchwork’s tricky pattern.  
Maybe you just wanted to be able to find your way back.

November 2004  

Bernadette Hall

Last updated 25 March, 2005