Poetry by Lel Sebastian


You wanted wildness from me,
your idea of it.

You forgot that the doe is as wild as the stallion;
you got annoyed.

Your photos weren’t any good.


from Poems from a long time ago


Attend me, voice, be rubies, sable, mint,
and I, although of a perturbed physique –
severely lame, among my kin the runt,
although a miller’s son, will eat the yolk
of palace hens and soap my palms and knock
to enter, Sire having summoned me
to sing for him, his lords, his coterie.


Attiring ourselves after we had lain
together, hoops and corsages and pins
in place, our succour got, returning soon
to men, to tournaments, we saw the cranes –
the sunset come – dipped in mauve. My loins
were sore. The air around us eddied still.
When I emerged, I said that I’d been ill.


My queen serenely tours this putrid isle
of mine, immaculate and fair of face
while crossing glacial ice and deserts, foul
and turgid rivers with their odious
menagerie of carcasses from mouse
to horse, and hollows full of nettles where
she claims she’s seen lucern here and there.


Let me sow love

You’re a noisy
gong. Yes, go on,
do your smut, do
your brouhaha.

It’s a very
still day out there.
The grass is an
immodest green.

If I could I’d
put you through an
ordeal. Lord God
let me sow love.

Let the darnel,
the spurious
wheat, be choked by
the love I sow.

Lel Sebastian lives in Australia. Her poems have been published in various online and print Australian poetry journals, and broadcast on Radio National.
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