KA Rees — Come the Bones

KA Rees writes poetry and short fiction. Her poems and short stories have been included by Australian PoetryCordite Poetry Review, Kill Your Darlings’ New Australian Fiction anthology, Margaret River Press, OverlandReview of Australian Fiction, Spineless Wonders and Yalobusha Review, among others.

Kate was shortlisted for the 2016 Judith Wright Poetry Award, she was the recipient of the 2017 Barry Hannah Prize in Fiction and runner-up in the 2018 Peter Cowan Short Story Award. She was a 2019 Varuna fellowship holder for her manuscript of short stories and the national winner of the 2019 joanne burns Microlit Award.

Kate is an inaugural participant in the 2021 Sydney Observatory Residency Program where she is writing the beginnings of her second collection of poetry on the Nocturn, and some of the more peculiar aspects of Sydney’s histories.

You can find her on Instagram: @kateamber01 and on Twitter @perniciouskate.

Come the Bones is Kate’s debut poetry collection. 

Liber Abaci

The moon spills
over the ocean;
the surface ripples—
glass eels swimming.

Driftwood sweeps on the curl
of a wave and the nautilus
with its air-filled chambers
floats in the pelagic.

Leaves fall from trees,
they spiral and twist
on the swirling breeze:
a peacock opens to the sky.

Stormbirds search unsuspecting
nests, their hell-eyes homing
in—the lights of a 747
wing-tips up, coming in.

Caterpillars mass on leaves
they eat through the soft belly,
sequencing nature’s code.

On the pavement, cracks fill
with ants, they swarm
and spread their frenzy
before the wet hands of summer.

The weavers in their webs
spin nets, their capture ready
to burst—wormy progeny
wriggle through the mess,
seeking to begin.

Requiem For Lorca

Lorca dreams of the Granada sun.
He walks the shape of afternoons.

Under the cathedral wall
bells chime the length of day.

He moves through squares full
with people smoking and talking

and eating the soft
soil—mouths full of dahlias,

their wine glasses empty
on tables of red earth. The sun

stretches lower. He sees dogs sniffing
and scratching and turning circles,

long snouts raised to the violent
blue, as the shadow of a moon

rises over peaks—the distant
capped mountains

where the bullfighters are killed
with capes in their arms.

It is winter, now and forever, and the sun
never warms the old walls of the town.

Still Lorca weaves his music
with the air of the Sierra Nevada.

In the setting chill of evening,
are these nights of music

and waiting in corners curled with smoke.
No one sleeps.

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