FAR FROM THE SHATT-AL-ARAB
- Peter wonders if pigs could fly
- & thinks, yes, they could, pink & squealing,
- if someone put them in a helicopter.
- He doesn’t know it’s NOT
- “all right” to fly around
- with PIGS
- in a Muslim country.
- He’s heard planes overhead all day –
- he’s somewhere on the outskirts
- of Baghdad – there is, it seems,
- some kind of “war” going on.
- What is “war”? He hears the Flowerbed Rabbit’s
- anxious voice in his ears, though she is far away –
- something she’d wanted to understand, when they
- were sampling fresh ears of seeding autumn grass,
- after the two thousand & two
- Australian drought’d turned
- parts of western New South Wales
- into desert; other parts of Australia, too,
- he’d mused, then; they’d been out west,
- wild pigs around…
Full text of FAR FROM THE SHATT-AL-ARAB
About the Poet:
Jann Sheila Harry, Australia, (1939-2015), aka: JS Harry and J.S. Harry, was a poet and has also been an poetry editor for the ABC Radio National poetry program and the Ulitara literary journal as well as holding a writing residency at Australian National University.
In 1983 she conceived of a recurrent character in her work, Peter Henry Lepus, a philosopher rabbit of insatiable curiosity whose adventures would encourage readers to “look at things from different points of view”.
Harry’s award-winning first volume, Deer Under the Skin, was published in 1971 and helped pave the way for poets trying to discover new ways to translate the Australian experience.
Among other accolades J. S. Harry has won the Harri Jones Memorial Prize for Poetry, the Poetry Society’s Book of the Year, the PEN International Lyne Phillips Poetry Prize and the Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry. Her recent work , Not Finding Wittgenstein (2007) a ‘collected works’ of Peter Henry Lepus. [DES-02/18]