Poems from The Full Dress

"Echidna" first appeared in Translations from the Natural World (see Bibliography). The prehistoric figure shown below is from Papua New Guinea.

Other Poems from The Full Dress

Prehistoric figure from Papua New Guinea



Crumpled in a coign I was milk-tufted with my suckling
till he prickled.
He entered the earth pouch then
and learned ant-ribbon,
the gloss we put like lightning on the brimming ones.
Life is fat is sleep. I feast life on and sleep it,
deep loveself in calm.
I awaken to spikes of food-sheathing, of mulling fertile egg,
of sun, of formic gravels,
of worms, dab hunting, of fanning under quill-ruff when budged:
all are rinds, to sleep.
Corner-footed tongue-scabbard, I am trundling doze
and wherever I put it
is exactly right. Sleep goes there.


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