Gemma Parker is a poet and a teacher at the University of Adelaide. Her poems and essays have been published in Transnational Literature, Award Winning Australian Writing, Writ Poetry Review and the Tokyo Poetry Journal. She was the 2016 winner of the Shoalhaven Literary Award for Poetry. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Adelaide as part of the JM Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice. She is one of the project managers of the Raining Poetry in Adelaide festival for 2021. She lives in Adelaide with her husband Guillaume and their two children.
Studies in Moonlight
The sparkle on hickory or white-oak leaves seemingly wet with
moonlight strikes one to the heart. One suddenly misses the capital,
longing for a friend who could share the moment.
– Yoshida Kenkō (c.1283-1350)
I don’t even know
what a hickory leaf
looks like. I yearn
to write poems about moonlight,
the wet darkness, solitude.
Far from the light-noise of cities,
to write in a place of true night,
in the medicinal north.
To compose more
than opportunistic poems
about the marginalia of life.
Doesn’t one also miss
the rush of loneliness,
and long for distance
from every capital?