Below is the full collection of community contributions to the ‘Westerly Festival Poem’, our event at the Perth Writers Festival 2017. These poems were gathered both in person from our origami boats and from our Twitter hashtag, #pwfpoem17.
Between learning to float and being able to tread water. Afloat, with ears below the surface, the world is muffled. #pwfpoem17
— Kylie Joy (@lionswish) February 25, 2017
Your raging swirling infinite circles mist defy those caught in the whirls of your pools
Wasps can stand on water
I think that water is precious to me and water smells great
Drip, drip, drip, the pulse of water sups life
Life-giving, soul-soothing, dream-weaving
Quench my thirst, wash my face, hide my tears
Like how threads unravel in water,
that is how I hope love feels like (once I find it)
All plants need water and light
Water cool, clean and clear
A lack, a despoiling now I fear
Water – the drink of the wise
Without water we are nothing
From early morning to the death of day, to the moon
I leap and skip and run. The beams of light I’ll use to pray,
will birth the mood of my distant sun.
— abartlett (@tinbrick) February 26, 2017
It rained and rained and rained and rained…
It was heavy and warm and well maintained.
After a drought of half an hour,
We had a most refreshing shower.
Our free flowing life-blood and when it ceases air kryptonite
Water is the most healthy drink on the planet
At his death, I caught my father’s last tear
Australia is melting, wipe me up with a tissue
her sedge footed step,
Her hesitance, pool reflection
And cloud image splinters
Effortlessly my limbs move in motions undetected.
Instinctually I wander across the bank,
the water rolling over granules of sand
as emotions of time and history build
up until they roll through and burst out of me.
Shards from the explosion pierce the ones I love. I am sorry. Forgive me.
We cannot live without water. Our half body is water
Sky water falling before stones, a forgetting.
The water of my childhood, back in Romania
north of the country in ‘Cordareni’
Oh beautiful water, source of all life
waiting, the water scores channels in limestone,
wandering fissures of reluctant life.
I give thanks for this journey and this life
The water flows in a beautiful ribbon to the sea!
The heavens gift for mankind
you roll, roll keep baying
by the back we asked of the shell to crash
Lukewarm brown ripples under ducks and wasps
The ocean has always been my solace and inspiration
Water flows and carries life
Water keeper of the secrets of the deep
Water my life, Water my world
Inside and outside my body
A river flowing into the sea
You are the essence of life – the essence of me – and no doubt the essence of my soul
Rushing, gushing, consuming everything in its path
To swim against the tide is
to gain in the dimension
Still but full of motion
black, green, grey becoming azure
blue with foaming white caves
Water is what keeps us alive
It is what cleanses me and
It is essential
Water, the thing I was brought up in, it is a part of me and everyone. It is life.
No water, no life, no joke
Water is life, without water I won’t be healthy and fit
— Catherine Graham (@CGrahamPoetUK) February 25, 2017
Water is amazing and without water we would die
Water is fun to play in and swim in
Water is the best, it’s healthy
Water is amazing because there is lots
Water is wobbly and floaty
I like swimming in the water a lot
Thank you for the water
To drink, clear and clean
My soul is in the water
the ocean my great power
my spirit is connected to water
When I was a child, my grandmother taught me
to float on my back with my toes
to the clouds, and never fear the waves
he cuts ribbons of my wisdom
and ties them to his boat.
If only he knew how fake I am,
he would set me out to sea instead
Water, folded paper scribbles:
memory’s whispers afloat
Water is important
Sustainer and creator of life and beauty
washing through the ancient gorges of the Kimberley
Water is good when you are thirsty, we will die without water
May this long summer of sadness soon float away
Water is essential, to life
We can drink water and swim in it
The water heals and refreshes
We are all drawn to it and more of it
Sky water falling before stones, a forgetting
Oh water, water, water, water
Stay with us forever
I sometimes think about the catastrophe that would happen if our hospitals no longer had access to the vast volumes of water to keep people from dying.
Sorrow can be art, even in a city like home; it’s people moving on…
A petal floats on rippled water as light
as a tiny newborn hand resting on mine.
Today you are inconstant –
all paper boats and underbelly,
will my words stick, dive deep?
On its surface, the arches of Winthrop turn upside down.
The water is coming, burning up
and drowning as it goes, twisting and running,
unlike her, it is not beautiful,
There is a reflected ring around my memory – inflated –
A pool of solitude on a toddling veranda. Pre-verbal
I bubble and gurgle, splashing happily, wading through
Prismatic drip drops of joy.
Live life like you mean it
Seashells, seashells on the seashore
The waves come in and watch the surfers surf
I like water because it’s salty
I like water because you can float in it,
Unless you’re a stone
Then you sink.
It’s funny how something so fragile can float for so long,
Carrying gleams and streams of human hearts,
On that by which it beats.
I like playing in Leilo’s pool
I like playing in the canoe.
I like playing in the water and jumping off the jetty.
Throwing sand in the water is fun.
Morgan likes playing in pools.
Water is healthy
Water keeps living things alive and animals (including humans) hydrated
Water is a precious resource
I like bombies!
Once upon a time there was one little boat. It was lonely.
I like the feeling of water and the temperature
Water carries us
I like water. If we didn’t have water, I’d be dead
I love water because it is blue
Being held by something bigger than me, wider than us all
I like oceans because they have clams in them
I like how the water reflects on you
I love water
Water, it’s the blood of the earth,
Covering it, engulfing it in cold, wet life.
Harsh, fresh life.
Waves are wavy, clouds are cloudy, rain is rainy, the sound of rain on water is calming
I love water in the bath. I want to put my boat in
I love swimming in the rain
Water makes the whole world glow, just running, running with the flow
Docks swim in the water,
they don’t get wet because their feathers are their coats
Water, water everywhere
But not enough to drink
Water makes the world shine,
It waves everything together and makes it bind
Feels hard when you smack your hand on it
My first memory of water was at Bayswater wen I dipped my feet into the river as my toes tingled in the sand
Without water I couldn’t eat
Without water there would be no meat
The elixir of life and the tears of death
I am water. I can hold up a boat but I slip through hands
Water is blue,
The sky is blue
That’s why I choose you!
It’s in the water that I feel truly free
Water comes from various places, such as lakes, oceans and rivers
— Roanna Gonsalves (@roannagonsalves) February 26, 2017
The scent of thirsty soil moisture from the sky
Water can be as smooth as glass,
And never went to swimming class,
It shines in moonlight,
It can be as black as midnight
I love to play footy in the rain
Lots of fish live in the water
Things float in water
Water. It could mean life or death. What would it mean to this boat?
Salt keeps me buoyant in the water. Salt water keeps my spirits buoyant in life.
Delicious droplets join the whole embrace. Immersion my elemental homes
Water is something that you don’t waste. Water is something you don’t throw away with haste.
Paddle, splash, swim, drink, blue, swim, splash!
Water is precious.
I like swimming in my Nonna’s swimming pool with my uncle and my aunty
Without water nearly all life would be extinct
Swift wet, soft at touch, splashing warm and sometimes cold
Swimming, splashing, jumping, diving
Waterfall under which I rest, like dreaming self, to the ocean flows
Black seaweed tickling my feet bobbing in the coffee water,
I want them to pull me down
When you jump into the cool blue sea, you feel free
I dislike hot days. But when there is a beach around, I love them
Blue, blue, blue,
I love you, beautiful blue water
All over the world
I like going in the water. I play.
I jump the waves. Splash, I put my chin in.
Grey suit; smart phone
on the train everyone still turns their head
to look at the water.
I like blue water. I like to put paper boats on water.
I like to do little splashes in water.
I like to drink the shower water when I have a shower.
Thank you water for filling up balloons
Water keeps you cool in summer
Elsa says hello!
Water is amazing! Water is cool! It covers 72% of the earth
Its so hot its like soup;
my body can only wilt and droop.
Dinosaurs lived in the water a long time ago
I like to ride the waves and jump waves with my sister
The watery fluid of life is what I swam
Before I was born.
Traffic noise, in patches, is ocean. #pwfpoem17
— Kylie Joy (@lionswish) February 25, 2017
Bath, tap, sink, happy, play,
I wish water could fly…
Water is refreshing. It cools you down when you’re hot and keeps you alive!
I thought I had lost you but now I’ll set you free and wait for you to return
Lakes, rivers, the ocean and more,
Water is all around us,
Water is everywhere
I like water because I like unicorns and unicorns drink water and lemonade
How special that heavy boats don’t sink on water
Not a drop to keep here;
The thickness brings me back.
From turquoise depths,
Transparent ripples rise
Water rushing by, glinting in the sunlight,
Falling off the cliff down into the deep pit
Although it may seem still, it is always rippling
On the water, dancing reflections of the past meet the present,
The first movement of us, as memory ebbs away
The relaxing sound of water gushing down the rocks.
Water is life… cleanse, hydrate, play, watch, meditate – endless possibilities, endless.
Yet our supply may not. Be careful.
Water is wet. Water is blue. I like water … and I like you!
Sleep, sleep without the sheep,
They don’t like water.