An Absence of Saints by Rosanna Licari

By Rosanna Licari

Packed with beautiful lyrical and narrative poems, this thought-provoking assortment explores various issues, together with the experience of belonging, the human , relations, being a stranger, love and hope, and beginnings and endings. Divided into 3 sections delineating the author's preoccupations together with her kin heritage in Europe, early life, and the purchase and processing of expertise, this compilation—inspired by means of the poet’s mom, Sofia, who's the topic of numerous works—also bargains perception into existence after immigration to Australia.

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He counts as he takes her round the dance floor. indd 51 28/04/10 3:34 PM Fidgeting with her ring, she finishes: And as he took me round the hall I felt like a princess. indd 53 Hemispheres 53 1. circumpolar It’s said a son split his mother in half to form heaven and earth. Her breadth was a sky spanned by genealogies and histories, and continents plimmed with blood. Studded in the reptilian tail, the old Pole Star, Thuban. Under its light, millions of sunsets before today, Babylonian traders moved across the sands from water to water, under the light of oil lamps architects drafted tombs for living pharaohs, and on the tundra, tattooed shamans read the circling futures.

Indd 33 28/04/10 3:34 PM The midshipman feels cold, takes the dead birds from the sack, and sets them at the woman’s feet. The blood-stained feathers touch her skin. He steps back into the scrub. indd 34 28/04/10 3:34 PM Strangers 1. learning the new language, pre-school The teacher motions me down as the children stare. The clank of metal chain against swing, I scrape my heels into dirt to stop, look at the sparrows chattering on the church roof next door. 2. at the front gate Mother asks me if I speak English.

The one with the long hair. The friend who always praised herself and her family. She told me not to say anything but I hadn’t noticed her brother’s sunken chest. indd 43 28/04/10 3:34 PM One day I gave her a note for Geoffrey from Marist Brothers. She returned with the news that before he read it, he took it by the corner and said let the grease drip off. I said nothing about him saying it or her telling me. Nothing. Mother still tells me she regrets not putting an extra ‘s’ in my name. As if Rosanna wasn’t different enough.

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