Rebecca Kylie Law

Rebecca Law wrote her first poem and autobiography at the age of sixteen. She is now the author of three collections of poetry, and her work has been published in Australia and overseas. Poems in this collection have appeared in The Australian, The Lake, The Euroscientist Ezine, Poetry Pacific, The Afternoon Journal and various other magazines. Her subject matter reflects her religious bias as a practising Catholic, ranging from a focus on nature and love to philosophy and social history. For Rebecca, reading and writing go together, and she is influenced both by poets she values and those she has reservations about but finds significant. With a Master’s Degree in Poetry, Rebecca enjoys writing reviews and essays, long-distance running in natural surrounds, listening to classical music, home decorating and friendships. She lives in Sydney, Australia.


Rebecca's website

Feature on the IP Blog

Feature in Overland Emerging Poets Series

Rebecca on Wonder Book of Poetry

Profile in Poets & Writers


Born of the Sacred

I’ve been here twenty minutes
but the ibis still surprises me:
for what they were, firstly,
in type and for their age

All several of them, old
until one day, old enough.

So I stood still on the same path
that had led me through palms
and adult flowers to their lawn,
as it were; and its surviving pool,
despite the sallow weeds, the depletion.

Staring until I forgot I was
staring at a bird, seeing instead
a head that wore the shape
of a hand-patting affection,
a head whose brain knew
its nature so well that’s all there was
beside features, black sharp eyes
blinking at every stroke, every thought.

Such taut skin as that
had known wind since birth;
and perhaps time was the hand-patting
every birthday, another palm
passed gently over the crown.

Then, more profoundly, I saw
what the ibis saw,
the wide ocean, distance;

And what the hand passed over,
his ears and the lingering sorrow
of a seagull’s vocal departure.

As a Stream, Glistens

My sister phones to ask
if my niece can have
the doll’s house, pulled out
and dusted from the garage
during a spring clean, my dad
supervising on pain killers, and I
text back ‘no’ in haste. Later,
talking to mum, I don’t need
to explain what I want it for,
just a short negative is enough,

but in some ways I want to,
a present from mum and dad,
wooden and matching my height
(then); not much good for dolls
(the size I kept anyway), so
owned and utilised by a small
brown bear, fitted out with hat stand,
crimson lounge, iron stove, bed
with striped mattress (see? manly)
and dresser in that consecutive
order over three levels; and following,

that name dad called me, China, his
six months of chemo and I think
no. It’s postcolonial anyway.

To a Sparrow

There’s a line of thought
starting with a charcoal prayer,

a morning sun abiding,
the short and long of twigs,

my crowea exalata,
a presence of heart;

that shadowlike follows
in small bird feet,

even, dressed in finery,
doggedly pulling at my skirts,

the rubbed tear-ducts, to shade;
Where almost stooped
you are listening
to small songs

your whole life,
a line of thought

you could question
as to the necessity of rain-breaks
overhead, in a hot month.

Peering through Water

Mist congregating near the lull
and trek of a mountain range;

the colours of rain. Under this
stone portico, sunlight on the far
fawn wall an excerpt from someone’s
wandering rainbow, perhaps lost.

Like stars, they say, can roam
or drift how many flowers to date
broken twenty centimetres from first
emanation brought in from our garden.

Countless but not bouquets they
intertwined in my palm, stem across
stem. Clutching the middle to raise
near your nose there was a likeness,
the warmth of your eyes…

Afterwards, flat as wreaths atop
a kitchen table with the lit candle
night after night, dinner passing on to
sleep, ‘the body of Christ’,
a procession of shadows, ‘the body
of Christ’. In the variegated light
falling through the ghost gum
one heated day, this holy obligation.

From my picnic rug in its shade
the colours of the world, white.

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