from The Autistic Child Considered as a Cloud
it into existence, as net hauls fish from ocean’s
static veil, as magnet draws magnet from chill,
metallic inertia, along a predetermined path.
It is a flat, grey body, barely breathing
grey air, leaching grey thoughts, exuding
grey aspect, grey words and grey noise.
the deafening sound of silence which prevails,
while the ether, compressed, senses a bitter wind.
who understands Relativity, emulates Rutherford,
considers Descartes and speaks fluent French,
“La plupart des nuages sont attaché a la terre …”
who dances in heavy rain, wets himself, mutters
complaints like madness, and is a bogeychild
other mothers warn their darlings about.
are parents who lose sight of their child: how light
is smothered in him as if we exist solely
in a cold and windowless room.
Clear as convection, bubbles floated from
his mouth as if from a cartoon character.
or Water Hazard, the miracle of his achievements
unfathomable as the Marianas Trench.
upon him, the oxygen sustaining him is as cloudy
as chlorine, and when he floats in sluggish dance
about us, we think of salps and brittle stars.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Siobhan Harvey is the author of the poetry collection, Lost Relatives (Steele Roberts NZ, 2011) and the book of literary interviews, Words Chosen Carefully: New Zealand Writers in Discussion (Cape Catley, 2010). She’s also the editor of Our Own Kind: 100 New Zealand Poems about Animals (Random House NZ, 2009). Recently her poems have been published in Asheville Poetry Review (US), Evergreen Review (US), Five Poem Journal (Ned), Landfall, Meanjin (Aus), Poetry New Zealand, Stand(UK), Structo (UK) and Tuesday Poem (NZ/US). She’s the Poetry Editor of Takahe and Coordinator of National Poetry Day (NZ). In 2011, she was runner up in the LandfallEssay Prize and Kathleen Grattan Prize for a Sequence of Poems, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. As part of the 25 New Zealand Poets Project, her Poet’s Page was recently launched on The Poetry Archive (UK).