Feathers gathered, feathers lost – Judith Neale

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Vancouver Art Gallery
Thoughts after an exhibition

We speak tall tales
into shadowed lives
They balloon our dry throats
with malice and the recognizable
gossip of our station and design
These words drift like pollen
over sleepy blank tongues
eager for a bitter taste
to inform them
of the hard rub of someone else’s
slim bag of misery

We ask ourselves
who are we to paint you
with such sticky tar
casting stones
at your blind innocence

Now we try to gather
back the words
that have stained
your spotless name

The wind lifts
the feathered flutter
of these secrets and lies
and it blows them clean
away from our
undeserving eyes

We promise  
         we’re sorry
and won’t whisper
won’t     whisper     again

the mean truths
that bent you
obscuring your light

Jude Neale  was shortlisted for the “Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize” (Ireland), “The International Poetic Republic Poetry Prize” (U.K), “The Mary Chalmers Smith Poetry Prize” shortlist (UK), “The Wenlock International Poetry Prize” (UK), and “The RCLAS International short story and Poetry Competition” (Canada) where she placed second in both categories. She was long listed for the “Canadian ReLit Award” and the “Pat Lowther Award” for female writers for her book Only the Fallen Can See (Canada), which was also shortlisted for “Editor’s Choice, Hurricane Press” (USA). Jude also placed second in the prestigious “2014 Pandora’s Literary Collective Poetry Competition,” achieved honorable mention in the “Royal City Short Story Competition,” and was recently shortlisted twice for “The Magpie Poetry Award.” She has just launched her third collection of poetry, A Quiet Coming of Light, A Poetic Memoir (leaf press).

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