Reading the Moths

a poem by Sally Denshire published in 2018 in fourW twenty-nine New Writing


Ten days meditation unfurled

deep in the blue gum forest.

‘… you observe noble silence:

reading materials and

electronic devices verboten’.


Ransacked by devices and screens

she is now drawn to read the moths

and joins the line of meditators

rainbow-wrapped against the dawn,

snaking their way down to break fast.


Moths short-lived,

undescribed in any text book,

stuck in a pool of light,

they cluster in formation

at the entrance.


Wings filigreed, verdigris,

black-specked white mesh,

bodies velvety with musty bloom,

wings shimmer like arrowheads,

a mezuzah on the door jamb.


Spoons just right porridge

from a deep blue bowl

and gazes into

the glowing face

of the escarpment.


With each moth reading

body and soul are as

water flowing over sandstone,

‘for were nary a screen anywhere

when reading moths in the eucalypt air’.



Published in 2018 in fourW twenty-nine New Writing in association with Booranga Writers’ Centre and re-produced here with kind permission.


Photo credit:  Sally Denshire

Look for the moth image above on an NBN box next time you’re in Central Albury.

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