Lisa Reily

where I am from

where I am from
trees sway full of yellow-sun coconuts,
people in white with dark skin
and bare feet walk the streets

where I am from
macaques bare their teeth, steal ice creams,
orangutans bathe in deep green rivers,
cows wander the streets at night

where I am from
there are offerings of rice and pretty flowers
in baskets laid out on footpaths,
for gods, cats and mice to find them

people burn into ash,
their souls, white birds on the rice fields,
where the sun reflects their spirits                    
from sky to earth

where I came from
people lived in houses that held the world,                                                  
phones blared and everything shone;                        
animals bled, unseen                                                 

where I came from
no one had time, or freedom,                                    
shopping centres were places of worship,
and life began at sixty-five

where I am from
soft clouds catch on mountains,
trees sing coolness into air,
contented elephants kick up dust

where I am from
healing waters surface,
you hold my hand in the stillness,
and the world is quiet





Lisa Reily is a former literacy consultant, dance director and teacher from Australia. Her poetry has been published in several journals, such as Amaryllis, London Grip, The High Window, Panoplyzine, and The Fenland Reed. You can find out more at