Virtual Launch: Rebecca Kylie Law talks about ‘Pan’s Dance: New and Selected Poems’

Pan’s Dance: New and Selected Poems by Rebecca Kylie Law, Resource Publications, 2020 was virtually launched on 13 September. In the following video Rebecca talks about her new book and reads a number of poems:

Pan’s Dance: New and Selected Poems is available from Amazon and Dymocks


Sample Poetry from Pan’s Dance

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 stopped
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.



Those star-shaped fragments
of blossom you brush
from our timber table
with both hands
like dust: we are sure
they are not. Though they fall
effortlessly and share the visible
colours of yellow and white.
Without them, we share our tea
on a summer afternoon
in a stranger’s courtyard. I
scoop one soundlessly
from my porcelain cup
with a silver teaspoon
while you speak, resting it
on a saucer, saturated;
and see the paradox. Though
not seemingly a star I am
no longer sure it may not be.
In our conversation there is a
flame which burns with a
sharp red colour sparking at
times into atmosphere. And
though it burns it is too
ancient to be hot. What we
shared was immediacy, saw
the flowers which resemble
stars. And behind the brightness
the forms which are, shining.


Four: Candle

For my friend whose facial tumour
won’t diminish with haste,
“only a shadow of his love…”
for my two friends that I see
and cry with joy,
“only a shadow of his love”
for my friend whose greeting
instructs goodness,
“only a shadow of his love”
for my friend in whom loss
lessens with gain,
“only a shadow of his love”
for my friend in which day
is a journey toward gold,
“only a shadow of his love”
for my friend who is always first,
my mother: a birthday candle.
“only a shadow of his love…”

The Watch

A small child, he rests his elbow
on the window ledge and holds
his head in the palm of his hand.

Seated at the front of the car
a passenger or sidekick, he gazes
at the world outside the frame of
a window, just gentle skies and a
mild sun but the worry of something
much weightier in the fair-haired
boys splayed hand. Day almost whispering,
stay. Don’t go anywhere beyond there

and return to think of fields;
and running until your palms rise.


On the Impeccably Dressed

A white pigeon,
speckled with ink black
spots, walks back and
forth of a concrete
driveway. Large and
adult, the movement is
hardly easy as the pavement
is sloped. And although his
weight is not remarkable
the walking is slow,
seemingly studied. He has

a beautiful face.

It is very small, white and
round except pointed
in expression, due to
a short, black beak. Atop
a slender neck, it is a
serious, quiet face,
with black eyes that stare out
oblivious to my presence.

It is a warm afternoon but
the wind is gusty and occasionally
lifts the short feathers
of his body as though to
tease him out of his
reverie. It does not succeed.

The bird, above his chosen,
modernised surface of earth,
is at peace. I walk on
before he takes flight,
leaves for another patch of
land where he once more
might catch his breath,

enjoy the sun upon his
beautiful face. Therefore, it
makes sense to me that

later, in the middle of a
dark Autumn night, when
the wind is still robust,
undecided in the direction
of its currents and my
curtains conceal windows
that now feel cold and
moist with atmosphere,
that a person appears
to me in a dream. And
that person is a man wearing
a white jumper speckled with
ink black spots, some grey
shade of trousers and shoes,
shiny black with fresh rain.

It makes sense to me, in this
night of high winds and dim,
misted windows, that this
man appears in my dream
because this man is not
a stranger, but my father.

Oh God,

to wake to such knowledge.


Rebecca Kylie Law holds a PhD from UWS. She has published five collections of poetry with Picaro Press, Interactive Publications and Ginninderra Press and this, her sixth, with Wipf & Stock. Individual poems, reviews, interviews and articles have been published in numerous journals Australia and overseas. She works as a freelance writer and teacher.

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