Breath, the hours

ireland photo

Poetry by Jill Jones:             Photographs byAnnette Willis


           what's in voices
streets, air's breadth, green on buildings
           small glimmering gaps
between messages, scratches, if I had risen
           once, ongoing after
the quiet, a fine strap of
           sweat sighs and
unnerves the jokes, the flocking hours
           each morning's expenses
slowly, exactly, moved far from lucent
           cut to noon
awe is an engine, the particular
           'a glitch system'

I am written in sky fresh
            tunnels direct me
into the cool vibration of air
           rain down does
as edges disappear, each stone on
           the road, on
grey bright tears, distance in world
           mortal affectionate hour

Tate Modern

windows silhouette scaffolds halfway up, into
           gods among clouds
how the lights shine less lonely
           while producing doubt
these shards are my parts of
           form, empty again
becoming a reflection, birds hide in
           the glass shadows
this brilliance shivers on us over
           sound and smell
my lines and scales of skin
           moving dimness there
to these hours, waste of revealing
           savour in our
so common life, turbulent and fragmented
            beginning of traffic
strives, fastens, inside skies, bright season
           from what we
believe, they arrest you in passages
           resist the wall
opened on me this small lustrum


surrender moves me into long voice
           hours blur lines
against open gates, threaded, poured, ached
           gone and open
flocks seek me like air, from
           my rare edges
after the weight of eleven dreams
           the dog shadow

yes, white flowers live inside themselves
           still as water
blue memory, prospect, and how to
            complete change, rows
of voices, widths of water gleam
            notches between messages
empty becomes still, petals hide shades
           out of glass
draw long the shifted gates, look
           the body which
mysteries penetrate! phase inside and always
           the upheaval, edged
interlocks the black, night in markings

end photo

           if I had
the lifting! of wild flow rings
           ruins to seek
an entrance which breathes the language
           of mornings, 'it
seeks with me even then', working
            remains, significances, each
step on the rise you resist
           the way my
objections have glossed the going (old
            arcades embrace, they
are glassy under clouds), experience is
           a metaphor, if
it is the shape isolated from
           qualm, parts of
a balustrade, 'sing to granulation, camber
           hold it', piece
within the plot as draughts penetrate
           the mobile darkness
doubt is an engine, the particular
           wings its constructs


            rains not small
but blurred layers, season aspires to
           favour so ordinary
life, words in writing me arrange
           the sky, coolness
of any god, where it's possible
            tactics resist ways
of language, burdens thirst, the pathway's
           tongue , 'even sing
then I would', penetrate direction, the
           pitch of ruptures
inside a quality of shade, centre
           in a cloud
polisher of lights, rained one wing
           climbs the chill
layer of fog startled that this
           is peace and
skin with sun, morning's black beams
           flower of falls
rain down does as hills disappear
           hunger takes breath

rocks and water photo

each day walks on terrain, crust
           tasted in rock
curled, being born, turning with delicacy
           once ongoing, after
the luminous grey distance, imaging shadow
           hums of ashes
under vapour light still empties birds
           breath spirit interlocks
the black way in the world
           of the lip
in a sleep of clouds, blue
            increase, asking — can
wild ruins go to their flowering
           to refresh within
marks of rain, to fly night's
           body of secrets
balance of apprehensions sketch long movement
           (if you call
who answers)
as resistance, your way
            objection, however, leaves
edges and weft, risings, fields. observe

end photo

List of photographs
Title photo — Dingle Harbour, 2004 Annette Willis
1. in the Malá Strana, Prague, 2004 Annette Willis
2. Tate Modern, London, 2004 Annette Willis
3. The Rocks, Sydney, 2005 Annette Willis
4. Cimetière Montmartre, Paris, 2004 Annette Willis
5. Canberra, 2003 Annette Willis
6. Konopiste chateau, Central Bohemia, 2004 Annette Willis
End photo — Dingle peninsula, 2004 Annette Willis

* * *

Annette Willis Annette Willis is an Australian photographer who has had eight solo exhibitions since 2002. Her areas of specialisation include industrial archeology, landscape, urban decay, street art, text and texture.

Her first major black and white exhibition, Remnants, examined transience in four Sydney urban landmarks, large and small, which were once part of the fabric of Australia's oldest city and which are fast disappearing or have disappeared altogether. Sites such as Cockatoo Island, North Head Quarantine Station, St Peters Brickworks and the Edwardian Men's Lavatory in Macquarie Place were part of the early social history of a still young city.

The 2005 exhibition, Romance of Death, featured a series of photographs taken in many burial grounds throughout Paris. These works are lyric abstractions rather than a documentary representation of tombstones. They investigate at close range both a tangible and poetic presence through rhythm and shape within the compositional space.

Another 2005 exhibition, Wallworx, featured large colour digital prints of stencil street art that was appearing on walls, signs, billboards and dilapidated buildings in many Australian cities. The aim was to examine in context a range of imagery by a number of young artists that was often elaborate and beautiful, political and passionate, but also ephemeral and transient.

Collaborations with writers and other visual artists has been an important part of Annette's artistic expression. Joint projects with the Australian poet, Jill Jones, include Hidden Shrines, Sea Shadow Landlight and Breath, The Hours.

Formerly a teacher, researcher and academic, Annette holds a range of qualifications including a PhD in learning theory and has lived and worked in Spain, Indonesia and Thailand.

Annette's work is held in the State Library of NSW as well as in private collections throughout Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Singapore and Hong Kong.

More information about Annette Willis is available at www.annettewillis.com

Jill Jones Jill Jones is a poet and writer who lives in Sydney, Australia. Her work has been widely published in most of the leading literary periodicals in Australia as well as in a number of print magazines in New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Britain and India. She is also widely published online. Her latest books are her fifth full length work, Broken/Open (Salt, 2005), which was short-listed for The Age Book of the Year 2005 and the 2006 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize, and three chapbooks, Fold Unfold (Vagabond, 2005) poems written in response to paintings; Where the Sea Burns (Picaro, 2004); and Struggle and Radiance: Ten Commentaries (Wild Honey Press, 2004).

In 1993 she won the Mary Gilmore Award for her first book of poetry, The Mask and the Jagged Star (Hazard Press). Her third book, The Book of Possibilities (Hale & Iremonger), was shortlisted for the 1997 National Book Council 'Banjo' Awards and the 1998 Adelaide Festival Awards. Screens, Jets, Heaven: New and Selected Poems won the 2003 Kenneth Slessor Poetry Prize (NSW Premier's Literary Awards).

She has collaborated with photographer Annette Willis on a number of projects, including c-side, and also Sea Shadow Land Light, a multimedia presentation first delivered at the On the Beach conference held by Edith Cowan University at Fremantle in February 2004.

She was a co-founder, with Laurin McKinnon, of BlackWattle Press, and in 1995 she co-edited (with Judith Beveridge and Louise Wakeling) A Parachute of Blue, an anthology of contemporary Australian poetry. With Michael Farrell, she co-edited a selection of Australian erotic poetry for a 2003 edition of Slope online magazine. She has been a film reviewer, journalist, book editor and arts administrator.

She maintains a weblog Ruby Street, as well as two websites, her home page and poems extracted from her weblog off the street

To order books by Jill Jones

From Salt Publishing:
Broken/ Open

Screens Jets Heaven

From Vagabond Press:

From Wild Honey Press:
Struggle and Radiance

Reviews of Broken/Open:
By Peter Boyle in The Famous Reporter
By Angela Gardner in foam:e

Reviews of Struggle & Radiance:
By Peter Minter in Jacket
By Maria Christoforatos in Cordite

Other on-line references to Jill Jones's poetry:
Poetry International Web
Australian Literary Resources

* * *

Interview with Jill Jones


Traverse: songs
A sonnet sequence by Jill Jones


Photo of Jill Jones
by Annette Willis 2005

Photo of Annette Willis
by Jill Jones 2003

Photos in Breath, the hours
by Annette Willis, all rights reserved 2006.


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