Julie Anne Thorndyke – Two Poems


How Loud the Wind

A winter chill has settled on the house
and with the cold a certain sense of calm—
I cannot hear the wind, but know it blows.

Beneath the floorboards scuttling creatures run
to hibernate in some more cheerful place.
A winter chill has settled on the house.

These darting lizards seek their spot of sun
my limbs refuse to join their solar chase.
I cannot feel the wind, but know it blows.

More barren now, than any leafless tree
and sourer too, than ploughed fields soiled by war
a winter chill has settled on my house.

Heart made of ice, no hope of his return:
a glacier no solar power could warm.
I cannot hear the wind, but know it blows.

A bell chimes once, at last my senses rouse—
the empty chimney whistles down his name.
A winter chill has settled on this house
his name is on the wind, and loud it blows.

In every kind of light

the souls I live with
understand me now—
gifts of candles

on my desk
as necessary as syllables—
the corona of a lamp

morning sun
through torn lace curtains
a gift of birdsong

evening dusk
… leaves and phrases
blowing in

on wet streets
ardent headlights gleam
in syncopation

dancing specks
across the swelling harbour
ferries in the fog

past midnight
in our sacred room
the lovers’ flame


Author’s Statement on Beauty

For me, beauty is bound up in our five senses: through colour, music, taste, touch and fragrance the divine is revealed. If, as a writer, I can render an experience of wonder in words, crystallise that emotion on the page and share it with readers, that is a privilege beyond compare.


Julie Anne Thorndyke graduated with merit from the Master of Creative Writing program at the University of Sydney. She has published poems and stories in many literary journals. A winner in the US based Tanka Splendor competition in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009, she was also awarded an honourable mention in 6th International Tanka Festival Competition 2009 (Japan). She facilitates a local tanka-writers’ group, participates in collaborative poetry presentations and leads creative writing workshops. Julie won the 2011 and 2015 FAW Pauline Walsh short story competitions. Two collections of her tanka poetry are available from Ginninderra Press. More at: jthorndyke.wordpress.com.