Brevity

      by Judith Wright

 

Old Rhythm, old Metre

these days I don’t draw

very deep breaths. There isn’t

much left to say.

 

Rhyme, my old cymbal,

I don’t clash you as often,

or trust your old promises

of music and unison.

 

I used to love Keats, Blake.

Now I try haiku

for its honed brevities,

its inclusive silences.

 

Issa. Shiki. Buson. Bashō.

Few words and with no rhetoric.

Enclosed by silence

as is the thrush’s call.

 

 

From “Notes at Edge” in Phantom Dwelling (North Ryde, Australia: Angus and Robertson, 1985).