from Issue #6: Poetry by Siobhan Hodge

Photo (CC) Tommy Wong @ Flickr

Photo (CC) Tommy Wong @ Flickr

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 Happy Valley Turnover

American alfalfa, fresh
off the jet, arrives
for a visiting
sprinter
in the barracks.

Soybean starches
ulcered bellies,
oats and lucerne
for horses ushered
to another day’s racing.

Withers judder
in humid clumps,
remembering
seasons in uneasy
halogen nights.

Eyes may turn
to Kowloon skyline
under lock
from stall to killing pen,
now harried up the ramp.

Seychelles broke fast,
Sicilian Storm no
breeder,
along the outside
we have another
Ferdinand.

Imported hay is
exchanged
for spent bodies
on the morning truck,
and the punters
park elsewhere.

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Horse Latitudes

No red tide laps the shore
to mark your bloody passage.
Algal bloom snuffs oxygen,
your lungs filled
in unfamiliar seas.

Cast adrift, no water to fill
your salted flanks:
they pitched you over the side
like an empty barrel.

Spanish soil fell from your hooves
before Pacific
rose to claim
your abandoned hide.

Rolling in the deep,
hawkhead mauled
by foam. Sharks barter
for your sinews
beneath calm water.

No horizon will beckon
you home, body
sunken – skull to mount
the bedrock, mapping
a legacy of bones.

 

ABOUT THE POET

Siobhan Hodge was recently awarded a PhD at the University of Western Australia in the discipline of English, studying Sappho’s poetry and its translation. Born in the UK, she divides her time between Australia and Hong Kong, and is currently undertaking a writer’s retreat in Cambridge. She recently published a chapbook, Picking Up the Pieces, and has had poetry and criticism published in several places, including Cordite, Page Seventeen, Yellow Field, Peril, Verge, and Trove. Siobhan nurtures a longstanding interest in working with horses, drawing on both classical dressage and natural horsemanship methodologies, and is working on a related poetry collection.

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Contrappasso, Issue #6 – launching in September 2014

Cover image "DSC02603" (CC) Vincent Lou @ Flickr, altered from original

Cover image “DSC02603” (CC) Vincent Lou @ Flickr, altered from original

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New Issue. New Authors. Contrappasso 6 is launching soon! This issue explores still more possibilities in international writing, bringing together work from nine countries in four languages, by more than twenty authors who are appearing in the journal for the first time.

Their work leads from snowy streets in Montana to packed train stations in Tokyo, from Hong Kong horse races to Sicilian passion-plays, from the Coal River Valley to Manila shopping malls, and from an iron lung to The Raft of the Medusa.

This issue features interviews with Australian poet Judith Beveridge, veteran American crime writer Lawrence Block and Filipino novelist Jose Dalisay. It presents new fiction by Japanese novelist Mitsuyo Kakuta (translated by Aoi Matsushima), Chilean Álvaro Bisama (translated by Megan McDowell) and from the USA, Jon A. Jackson and R. Zamora Linmark. The poets are Elizabeth Smither, Iain Britton and Stephen Oliver (New Zealand), Flora Delalande (France), Penny Florence (UK), Ouyang Yu (China/Australia) and Richard James Allen, Stuart Barnes, Jamie Grant, Siobhan Hodge, Frank Russo and Les Wicks (Australia).

Watch this website to sample the work this all-new ensemble of writers. They travel far.

The Editors