Persimmon

By Caroline Caddy b. 1944 Caroline Caddy
Like buying a ticket inland
                           to barely understandable provinces
with no language at all I bargain and pay
                                                      for this warm planet
tipping the scales of wrist and elbow
spreading my fingers with its weight to read
                                           my life-line my heart-line
my seams and mounds of fortune.
I stare
into the sun on smoggy evenings
                                     the throat of an old street oven
that seems to expand as I anticipate
                            its glow engulfing my solar system.
I open my mouth
                   and China fills it sliding into tartness
                                                               forcing my lips
to begin its name
over and over then finger-painting my chin
                                                with the gel of ripeness.
I swallow the pabulum of infancy
                                          the sweet mucilage of age.
It makes me eat like a person alone
                                          who hasn’t loved for years.
There seems to be no core
                            the few black seeds hardly noticed
in its one undifferentiated cell
other tongue
               that makes mine lazy    the flavour . . .
                                                             the flavour is . . .
my hand moves like an incantation
through an alley of blunt flames
                                   that can be eaten with a spoon.
I gorge
on a people’s staple
                            fat Buddha   squat Amida
                                                            repeat three times
persimmon persimmon persimmon
and go to heaven.

Caroline Caddy, “Persimmon” text from Esperance, Fremantle Press, 2007; audio from The Tibetan Cabinet, Audio CD River Road Press: 2010 by permission of River Road Press and the poet. Copyright © 2007, 2010 by Caroline Caddy.

Source: Esperance (Fremantle Press, 2007)

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Poet Caroline Caddy b. 1944

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Subjects Activities, Eating & Drinking, Travels & Journeys

Poetic Terms Free Verse

Biography

Born in Perth, poet Caroline Caddy grew up in the United States and Japan before returning to Australia as an adult. Caddy’s poems, lingering in the landscapes of China, Antarctica, and western Australia, explore identity through the process of travel and observation. Floating free of the left-hand margins, her poems make use of caesuras to emphasize the connections and gaps between cultures and geographies. “Creating a space . . .

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Poems by Caroline Caddy

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, Eating & Drinking, Travels & Journeys

POET’S REGION Australia and Pacific

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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