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She scoops her hands
slips them under the water,
scattering the face in the jar.

Waterfalls of pleasure
down her neck and breasts,
becoming warm rivulets
pooling on her belly.
Soaking the thin dress.

She plunges her arms deep into the jar.
A small gesture of luxury.
Her sigh rippling out to meet the heat haze
over the house paddock.

Clyde’s cattle truck by the stock yard
sends up fine bull dust.

Like his white washed promises - like lies.
“Washing machine, fridge, a proper home.”

Lifting her skirt - trailing it over the surface
catching the dust - hot sky
blue again in the water.
The wet cotton falls back
cold against her legs.

Stretching them down the veranda steps,
reaching again to the jar,
she traces a finger around the rim.
Pushing the tip against the cracked edge,
till pain flows in to her and out of her.
Till her blood feels thick and dark with need.

A tiny garden and a lemon tree.
Was that a lot to want?

A child's call breaks her reverie.
Rising slowly, leaning over the water jar,
she fixes her gaze on the eyes of all the woman
who’ve come before her,

Next year, she whispers fiercely, next year, if the rains don’t

Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the power and claims the name of essential poetry.


The following comments are for "The Water Jar"
by Huni

write off - Huni

You have such a way with words. Loved your storytelling spirit. This poem speaks volumes. Great write.


( Posted by: nae411 [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

What a great idea to interpret the subject matter into this water rite. It's rich and intriguing.

Things mundane, however, interrupt the intriguing rite. The truck, the stock yard, the washing machine - not only they interrupt the captivating song, they ruin the romance, for me, just like a stock report would in the middle of the Doctor Zhivago movie.

The work tastes more like a rambling narration gracefully rescued by impressive moments with blood, the cracked edge, the allusions to pleasure, the juxtaposition of blood, the need and the reverie.

I think works like these beg to be tightened up into lyrical, rhythmic, song-like entities.


et Teflonnez.

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

As usual a deeply sensitive piece to the landscape you are describing. The level of imagery you are able to use is astonishing.

Alex xx

( Posted by: londongrey [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

water jar
very nice, indeed, Huni. Lovely little story. :)

( Posted by: Cynical_Scribe [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

Almost perfect
You have a gift for taking me where you're going or where you're already at. Vivid, clear, sensual.
My only suggestion would be to end the poem with "Clyde's truck..." Would have been a 10 for me if it had ended there. I think then I could have imagined all the possibilities. In other words, your first 16 lines were so good, and spoke so much that what followed was anticlimatic for me (I do stress for me, because though I usually feel that my word is word -- ha -- I think this may be a case where my take is singular). Also, the "Clyde" line struck a beat for me that seemed to end the poem.
So, oddly, what you did so well ended up comprising the whole for me. This is hard, this writing stuff. Anyway, almost perfect.

( Posted by: brad [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

The dust
My mother tells me of carrying water up to the house on her father's farm. Sometimes the logic of buying a truck was more convincing than that to buy a washing machine - but he shouldn't have lied. Near perfect poem, and besides, I like it!

( Posted by: SamPark [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

water jar & all who commented.
Thank you every one for commenting on this. I am so sorry I never commented on a write off before. I always thought it was too hard. (I'm so soft!) But now I know doing one is harder. After ten pages I decided to settle on this. Even then it was a worry.

Sam, you hit the nail on the head. I grew up in the outback where the absence of water underscored how precious it is. I saw the impact of what it's scarcity did to the lives of the women.

Brad I may consider some of your suggestion for a future rewrite. I look forward to your input. thanks.

Scribe, thanks and you are right. I worried that this was more a story and less a poem. Oh! well. The pressure of a write off was a surprise for me. How did you find it? regards huni.

Londongrey thanks. Landscape is important to me. I think it might be this ancient country I live in.

Tef. Sorry the mundane broke the romance for you. lol. I'll try it without one day.

Nae, Demeter, Lucie, thank you for encouraging me. Your words took the edge off my nerves and got me enjoying this exercise. regards huni.

( Posted by: huni [Member] On: December 31, 2004 )

I am choosing this because of the poetry con storytelling (which I told you before you have a talent in so doing). Intriguing, even having that gypsy* quality which you know I love very much in your writings.

Girl, I am very glad you joined this write-off, it's a pleasure, so much a pleasure to read you at your best! Congrats...

( Posted by: PETERPAULINO [Member] On: January 1, 2005 )

Huni- write off
I found it somewhat nerve wracking, but fun. I like your poem very much- with it's story telling feel. You've done a fine job!

( Posted by: Cynical_scribe [Member] On: January 1, 2005 )

excellent poem

I'm going to give the nod to you on this Write Off. You managed to use the topic in a unique way and the narrative style you used worked wonders for me.

I would however consider tightening the piece up a bit, making some of your images more succint, more concrete. I think your poem would be better for it.

Some folks judge based on how close you adhere to the topic given, I usually judge based on how much good effect and original use you draw from it.

This was excellent work. Good job.


( Posted by: Bartleby [Member] On: January 1, 2005 )

...the winner, in my opinion. You turned the topic into something more your own and unique than your opponent did. You get the nod from me. I agree with Bart - a bit could have been tightened, explored, and so forth, but I'm too hung over from New Years to be much help ;)

Goond on ya, girlfriend.



( Posted by: strangedaze [Member] On: January 1, 2005 )

A Blessing Jar
Huni ~ this is startlingly good work for a write-off submission. I think it's amazing on it's own, but knowing the nature of the time constraints involved and the ease with which you could have taken off in a much more expected and unoriginal direction makes this poem all the more powerful in it's impact.

There are a few portions which I think could have been worded slightly differently in order to strengthen your piece: the repetition of cool and cold in her experience of the water seemed a bit unnecessarily redundant. I also found this true of the repeated word "come" in the back-to-back lines: "who've come before her" and "if the rains don't come". Yet these are minor quibbles.

As other commentators above have stated, this is a profoundly moving, rich and sensual encapsulazation of a moment. I'm more than impressed. I'm blown away.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: January 1, 2005 )

Write off
Very beautiful. Excellent job. Your language and imagery, as always, are flowing and superb. Aside from a few places where tightening would be of benefit, this is a gorgeous write. Wonderful story and work.

( Posted by: EverybodyElsesGirl [Member] On: January 2, 2005 )

I like your country style. This was an easy, yet intense read.Top of the billabong for me.


( Posted by: williamhill [Member] On: January 2, 2005 )

The storyteller
You uploaded your poem with a good written story
I value your talent of narrating style
Good use of landscape and image
I enjoyed the read

( Posted by: fairgrace [Member] On: January 3, 2005 )

You've done a fine job with this poem, creating a complex picture. There's a lot here, and I'm going to need to read through it a few more times before I'll be able to say I understand everything that's there.

But even just reading it a couple of times, I can say it's a very good piece for a write off.

So I'm scoring it 9... if you'll excuse me, I need to read it again. :-)

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: January 3, 2005 )

The Water Jar

I have been so tied up I didn't even realise there was a write off going on, but am I glad I found it!

I still do not know why I find some pieces of freewriting poetry, but this is the sort of poetry I can only aspire to. I love story telling in poetry and I think you have the rhythm and feel spot on, carrying the reader into the scene.

Well done,


( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: January 4, 2005 )

Love this
I am not surprised at the beauty in this, as you seem very capable of presenting it in your craft. You have a gift for bringing the reader to your side, congratulations on another well-written piece.

( Posted by: TamiJane [Member] On: January 5, 2005 )

Tami ...
Thanks for such a nice comment. When this write off is over I will get to comment on other work. Then I will come by your junk draw. It was as if someone from my family wrote it. Are you sure you are not my sister? lol. warm regards huni.

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: January 5, 2005 )

To all who came by ........
Peter & bob - both artist, so I appreciate your support.

Pen, as usual I value your words and honesty. Boy this was a lot harder than I thought it would be - to put together something meaningful in so short a time. I didn't like that the editing time I normally put into a poem was not available. lol. It was a good challenge though and I must say it made me work hard.

Reeta, yes it has been fun, and you have been a gracious and generous poet to go up against. thank you. huni.

Bart - thanks for the nod and the advise (hope you are around later as I will be editing and rewriting after this.)

Strangedaze - To call my work unique gives me the best tingle. thanks.

Claire (returning the bow) thanks. I think it is a hard pick actually because the poems are so different.

Hazelfern~What can I say? Just a huge thank-you. I agree with you and your suggestions will be my first changes. Ta.

Everbodyelsesgirl, Charlie, fairgrace. You all three mentioned the things I value - Image, landscape and country. Thank you for your support guys.

Spudley - I'm glad you saw the levels in this. The water in the jar is the focus in the lives and country of the people who often have to live with so little of it. Any small amount of water can then draw so much value and ritual around it. Even the wasting of it can mean so much more than it would in say, a city or water blessed country.

Ivor, I find rhyming so much easier that I'm not sure why I went with free form here. Sometimes I can lose the intensity I feel when I rhyme, so may be that was why. Only late not absent Ivor (lol) thank you for commenting.

Jess, thank-you, I like it too. Although it does need some work. It has been a pleasure to play with you on this. Thanks for all your hard work you put into it. Sorry you were troubled with this one and glad you liked it.

I know this is long but I do feel strangely humbled but honoured at the attention and fine comments and wanted to make sure you all know that. thanks and warm regards huni.

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: January 5, 2005 )

Huni- congratulations on your win! It was lot's of fun :)

( Posted by: Cynical_scribe [Member] On: January 7, 2005 )

Thanks all.
Thank you Jess and Reta. It was close in the end, like any good competition and lot's of fun. Thank you every one. Reta, I left a message for you on Water Wisdom. warm regards huni.

( Posted by: Huni [Member] On: January 7, 2005 )

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