Tongue Speak

On the tip of my tongue I hold you.

You slip into rosewater words
shadows cast behind recall
the quiet dust of death’s white lilies.

I fall into this undergrowth yearning
for doubts to skip away like pebbles
over the silvery sea.

A moon whispers
you have come home

but I can’t find you anywhere.
In the envelope of my silence

you’re once again ambushed
by my muddy brown grief.

You clasp a different package against your heart
as though the wrapping can keep you safe.

Now it’s summer mornings that smear my sorrow
with the quiet hum of lilacs and grasses
held in small relief.

You disappear into the stomach of a lion
the distance between us

is only a swallow
a slip of rings and promises neither of us
can keep.

I am a held breathe waiting for you
to push us past deliberation

of the cost of 98 cent tomatoes
or the weight of this useless love.

The air is redolent of a remembered touch
where oxygen levels never rise past zero.

Don’t come to me looking
for the white worms of my forgiveness.

Tonight dance a clatters of bones with me,
fall into my open arms.

Soon we will diminish
across this tundra landscape
of forgotten desire.

Meet Jude at Coming Events

  • Book launch for The Flaw, at the Canadian Music Centre BC on November 6 at 3:30-5pm.

  • Jude read from Naxos Greece on Saturday September 17 @ 1:00 pm-2:00 pm. PDT time. The event included Jude Neale, reading from The River Answers (Ekstasis Editions) | Shani Mootoo, Cane Fire (Book*Hug Press) | Alan Hill, In the Blood (Caitlin Press), all speaking from different places on Earth.
    For information:
  • The Bowen Island launch for Inside the Pearl was on October 1, 2021, 7:30pm, at the Hearth Gallery.
  • Guernica launched on Zoom Sep 12, 2021 - 12:30 Pacific
  • Launch at Joy Kogawa House, Vancouver on September 19, 2021 at 4pm. Jude read several poems from the book with photographs.
  • Jude will facilitated a workshop on Sunday, August 8: "Impromptu, Poetry Writing from 1-2pm on Bowen Island. Register
  • In the afternoon, Jude read from A Blooming, Impromptu, The River Answers and The Flaw, from between 2:30 and 5pm on Bowen Island. She was one of several Bowen writers performing at that time. More Info

Jude Reads Poetry