Amanda Joy: ‘Map of a Forest/ Urania’s Mirror’ (Part 1)

Map of a Forest/ Urania’s Mirror


Draco and Ursa Minor

behind us there … time’s idea
scaled in air….. as water

when we navigated ….through
cats eyed and doglike


Camelopardalis, Tarandus and Custos Messium

an interior forest of each
other’s dreameachother…….the land
spoke….. into the soles
of our feet and exhaled in song
neck long and nostrils flaring

abandoned constellations
hived as if they could be….. forbidden



magnetic freight and shove
a knee thrust through space
and here we
bow-shocked….. gaze
skywards (which is up and down)

as a crater in
forward moving history



maybe a deep red
star of mercy

volcanic or meteoric
displaced earth
in circles

what is forced into the soil
like a hand……… or a face


Gloria Frederici. Andromeda

obsolete bond
constellation no longer in use

who will care one iota when
the fact of you…… has been eaten
or chained to……. impossible rock

like the radiant……. origin
of a meteor shower
or any long awaited light


Perseus and Caput Medusae

essential heat of the heart
prickling the skin

amnesiac smile….. of the hunted
at rest

again.. ask
where is the hurt?

again…… look to the soil
birded…… with shadows



who mothered the stars?
singing acapella

some harnessed herd following

solstice.. the dawn of another
event.. two sides of a sight

muled as a coin
animal as all hunger

a child grasping his mother
with all four limbs



fanged and tufted firestorm
embodied sky with forelegs extended
meteors shower through claws

blue galaxy with wandering
planets…. their uncoloured redshift

can you feel them here
timing your revolutions?


Ursa Major

if prehistory exists.. lift
your paw as asterism

mapped anatomy of a bear
owled inside….. everdark

showing us our north even when
we’re not looking


Bootes, Canes Venatici and Coma Berenices

Berenice’s hair is caught on the twigs
I am hunting through to find her

unbright stars with dark halos
dogged by myth shafted by translation

atlas after atlas you mirror like
water…… earthed and flooding

here stragglers break the ocean
there………. blue collisions


Fornax Chemica and Machina Electrica

the Age of Enlightenment…. a western world
listening to the sound between
planets….. as if it was machined by stars
or pillars of nebulae.. lenticular
and mushrooming

buzzing and whining like a toaster
dropped in an empty bath without
shutting off

always…… forcing the shape of one thing
into another


Hercules and Corona Borealis

keystone is a torso turning
away…..weight on one knee
with bird head and lyre

circle of elders.. eagle’s nest smokehole
image under image over skyfire
stella novae of old star

moving over many renderings
a hand inking a page

something up there is crushing
beneath a light which will never reach
your eyes


Poniatowski. Serpentarius

super bloom
spring flowers over a california mountain
range photographed by satellite
arrive in an email as I pore over obsolete
constellations……. colours close
to the pigments in these cards.. pocked
with holes to be held up to light quaint
sacrifice to candle flame

cinched centre hourglass of slow
abysmal birth…… sink that into
anything but falling sand

equatorial snaking around


Amanda Joy. Photograph Alex Chapman

Amanda Joy was born and raised in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia. Her first full-length book, Snake Like Charms, was published by UWAP in 2017. Her poem ‘Tailings’ won the 2016 Peter Porter Poetry Prize. Amanda is also the author of two chapbooks, Not Enough to Fold ( Verve Bath Press) and Orchid Poems (Mulla Mulla Press).



Orchid Poems is available from
Snake Like Charms is available from

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