University of Sydney

M.T.C. Cronin




women of the sky
(after Pablo Neruda)

it happens outside
the weather
the singing song
of lightly banging doors
the sun coming on
like a television screen
wind and grey flickering
music like a shoot
green and insistent
wonderful trumpet!
blue behind everything
as if I've spilt my eyes
las muchachas celestes
disguised as clouds
bending over us
and wringing their hands
oh do not weep
soft women of the sky
and I will sing for you
from the throats of stars
and smile
in the shiny toothy moon
that touches your bodies
with redeeming silver
do not weep
and in this startled sky
I will set loose
your hundred thousand
those resemblances
rich with the memory
of all things





I look at children and wonder
how soon they will be like me
My expected death scavenging the length
of the sill with a cool fresh breath
The teacup of memory forgotten
overbalancing on my raised knee
and in my marvellous hands
There's a few ditches they've dug
and holding maps many huge
and perspiring cities they've found
their way around and even now
they are the best hands on earth
collecting the gradual implicated incidences
of my life in the ten fingers of passion
and hot palms which feel as though
they have thoughts burning in them
But it's too long I've been sitting here
as if the search at the bottom
of the garden for a symbol has been
going on for some inconceivable
length of time and now it is night
and I am left looking through a hole
in the garden's wall to see only
another person doing the same
Mountains are listening closely
but I don't quite say anything
Disease, close to the end, silences
and it is despite the whole world,
despite everything I have ever done
and despite anything that comes
into my head that I go to the bed
and lie down

In the street the children are living
their long long lives
and there is nothing at stake




rain for five minutes at 11pm

imaginative tree
red jasmine drops
of rain landing
like some old-
fashioned army
shadow of the mosquito
net falls
in a wild mesh (and
makes our skin move strangely
under its monster skin) and
where the air
is strong enough to carry it
the sound of the train tracks
run by train
there is a long mirror on our wall
between the windows
and a smell like
a flower behind your ear
someone else said




M.T.C Cronin is a writer of poetry and prose who lives in Sydney. Her poems and short stories have been published in Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe.

She is currently an academic researcher in the field of feminist legal theory in the Law Faculty at the University of Sydney. Her future plans are to undertake a PhD in 'Poetry and the Law'.


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Vol 2 No 2 October 1998
Editors: Nigel Krauth & Tess Brady