HILARY HARES

Poetry

HILARY HARES

Poetry

On sculptural figures
Looking out to sea

after Antony Gormley: Another Place, Crosby Sands

All Gormley’s kin each is his own man.
The local children call one Jeff.

They drown every day.
Like gods they have no smiles.

Sometimes Titian or Hockney
will paint them a dawn and,

when the tide recedes, jellyfish land
at their feet like green glass plates.

I watch as seagulls perch on their shoulders,
mirror their gaze, ask: Why stare so hard?

But they’re not letting on, their eyes fixed
as though they can’t bear to look down.

I persist: According to Frost nothing
we’re searching for is out far or in deep?

Their silence is deeper than the sea. I make
a final bid for conversation, tell them this:

I can see what’s happening behind you.
There’s no turning back.

First Prize Write by the Sea Competition, 2018

Proserpina

who is tasked to carry the seasons as she splits her year between her husband in the Underworld and her mother on Earth

A rape at the start that powers into love.
She’s his but still the tidal tug of mother-love
drags back. Up. Down. Loss. Gain.

Torn,
between.

She chooses for a mother:
songs for the throats of birds,
courageous seeds,
the milky weight of breasts,
days that take time, fronds,
new mouths, fresh work for bees,
open doors.

Back,
down.

She returns by moon. For him:
casements that seep an ancient light,
brown,
the ooze and fill of ditches,
embers, bedded furrows,
quiet creep of spore,
the longing to linger left by smoke.

First Prize Christchurch Writers’ Competition, 2013

On sculptural figures
Looking out to sea

after Antony Gormley: Another Place, Crosby Sands

All Gormley’s kin each is his own man.
The local children call one Jeff.

They drown every day.
Like gods they have no smiles.

Sometimes Titian or Hockney
will paint them a dawn and,

when the tide recedes, jellyfish land
at their feet like green glass plates.

I watch as seagulls perch on their shoulders,
mirror their gaze, ask: Why stare so hard?

But they’re not letting on, their eyes fixed
as though they can’t bear to look down.

I persist: According to Frost nothing
we’re searching for is out far or in deep?

Their silence is deeper than the sea. I make
a final bid for conversation, tell them this:

I can see what’s happening behind you.
There’s no turning back.

First Prize Write by the Sea Competition, 2018 

Proserpina

who is tasked to carry the seasons as she splits her year between her husband in the Underworld and her mother on Earth

A rape at the start that powers into love.
She’s his but still the tidal tug of mother-love
drags back. Up. Down. Loss. Gain.

Torn,
between.

She chooses for a mother:
songs for the throats of birds,
courageous seeds,
the milky weight of breasts,
days that take time, fronds,
new mouths, fresh work for bees,
open doors.

Back,
down.

She returns by moon. For him:
casements that seep an ancient light,
brown,
the ooze and fill of ditches,
embers, bedded furrows,
quiet creep of spore,
the longing to linger left by smoke.

First Prize Christchurch Writers’ Competition, 2013

Publications

  • A Butterfly Lands on the Moon 2017
  • Red Queen 2020 (available from Marble Poetry)

The Red Queen rules by a book of nonsense.  For weeks at a time there is nothing but silence

Through the Looking Glass

Red Queen (2020)

The bindings from a songbird’s tortured feet, a Geisha’s lost face, an obi mapped with blood’

The Okitsu Lost Property Inspector

Orbis (2013)

Publications

  • A Butterfly Lands on the Moon 2017
  • Red Queen 2020 (available from Marble Poetry)

The Red Queen rules by a book of nonsense.  For weeks at a time there is nothing but silence

Through the Looking Glass

Red Queen (2020)