Lyn Reeves

Lyn grew up in Sydney near a beach and loves to be close to the sea, which finds its way into many of her poems. At twenty she went to live in London for two years and on her return to Australia worked in art galleries, including The Yellow House, before moving to northern NSW and, later, to a sheep farm in Tasmania. She now lives near a beach outside Hobart with her husband and small white dog. Most of her work has involved books — as children's librarian, teacher of library and information studies, editor and small press publisher.

Lyn's poetry, stories and haiku have been widely published. Her haiku book, Walking the Tideline, came out in 2001 and a poetry collection, Speaking with Ghosts was published by Ginninderra Press in 2002. In 2008 Walleah Press published the anthology Seasoned with Honey, where her work appears with three other women poets. The manuscript won a FAW National Literary Award.

Lyn has been the editor for the Tasmanian literary journal Famous Reporter since 1994 and served as secretary and vice-president for HaikuOz. Her poetry has been translated into French and Russian, set to music by composer Rosemary Austen and read on ABC Poetica. She has been a featured reader at Salamanca Writers' Festivals, Sydney Writers' Festival, The Tasmanian Poetry Festival, Queensland Poetry Festival and WordStorm (NT). Lyn curated the Moorilla Cultural Series of readings and music, and coedited the resulting anthology, Moorilla Mosaic: contemporary Tasmanian Writing (Bumble-bee Books, 2001).

Recently Lyn began playing with clay and studying for an MA Creative Writing. She plans more frequent visits to her son and his family in Japan, and is trying to learn Japanese.


Origin of Beads

It begins with the nipple –
its hard
ridges and granulations
the brush
of newborn fingers across
a milk-taut breast,
measure of earth’s curvature,
feeding the primal thirst
for touch.

It begins with the eye
before language strings
syllables into speech
the word in a glance
in a look that fondles
the contours of a milk-soft
head, vulnerable cheek
feasts on the sweetness
of new skin and traps
in a kaleidoscopic net
the infant’s gaze, hooked
by light.

This fierce joy
this hunger for flesh
a God
born of her flesh
is the first bead.

Primal Sense

I soap his newborn skin
with sandalwood, massage
his elastic limbs with oil
pressed from the stones
of apricots, outline each
sculpted finger and toe
and stroke the smooth planes
of his soles. Vertebrae ripple
beneath my hands like birdsong.

If smell is primal sense
I want his memories to be
milk and honey and spice.
I want to rub away the cold
odour of a glass crib, the bland
steel instruments, the meaty
pungency of blood. I want to plant
his morning with fruit trees
and forests of fragrant wood.

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