A parting still

My lady, a voluptuous sky her only rest,

The bedchamber become a bower, become a glade,

Sings fain to dampen cheeks and furrow brows

All her own

Of what she sees, I know nothing save

She bespoke rays cleaving Apollo’s dome

Antique palettes creeping ‘pon the clouds

Once, long ago

And here this mawkish discontent of mine

Amid notes spilling chamber to chamber

Amid delights dulled to erasure

Within my breast

My lady, an unseen sky her only rest,

Seeks strings over vanished, varnished wood

And burgeoning days of warmth gone by

Now lonesome


Elizabeth Cook, 2016

Imagine from Landscape Painting Gallery




Passion made me its marker

Of swells and sighs divided

Regret the tenderest heresy

And each pulse, a watershed

And yet no arcing, tumbling,

Glittering thing of mine

Could rival hers; I remember

That frisson of the empty sky

That cry from below

Of heart and soul and mind

My summers sleep in amber

And to look at them

Is to remember


Elizabeth Cook, 2016. Image from Hyouka.

In Glass

She was a creature made in glass

A camouflage transparency

Pierced by light and colour, she

Could be seen in all her trembling

The pulse in her lips standing out and

Anodyne innocence recurring

By turns she hid and by turns she gave

That laughter of daybreak on snow

Then dull unto fading, lest one forget

Incongruous afterglow

Every embrace the first, the last

With frets for nerves pulled thin

Exquisite as a crystal shattered –

Swayed like a bough in spring

The Tribe

What are you?

We are, proud wagers of a waning world. We are, the dust of seven skies.

Yes, yes.

We are, the One and Only Tribe and we speak the land because it doesn’t know without us.

Yes, yes. What are you not?

We are not, the fliers overhead whom we won’t see and won’t hear and won’t speak. When they come for their pinpricks we hold out our arms and erase them a moment later. We are not their food or their water. We are not their impacts and blazing clouds.

Yes, yes.

We are not, their howls in the night or their tearing of the days. They are not of the Tribe and they nest afar.

Ah? She makes the sound of incompleteness.

We are not, anything but dust and wagers. We are, the life here.

Yes, yes.

We are, the Tribe.


And then the teacher smiles widely and gives them their long-awaited shell necklaces. She stands tall and proud as she watches them go, like the last elephant waiting in the pass. The last remembering.


Elizabeth Cook, 2015