Speed dating

thirteen men
fourteen women
in this room
a convolution
of sideways glances

he pours
another glass of wine
to break the ice
he can’t remember
but I met him last time

at each new handshake
the woman nearby
leaps into liveliness
after seven minutes
her mouth returns to a line

I stumble
through the smoke and mirrors
of banter
no signposts
on this rocky road

each seven minutes
longer than the last
faces merge
the only partner I crave
is solitude

Carmel Summers


Carmel Summers escaped from Sydney just under three years ago to live in Canberra. Carmel writes poetry, lots of tanka, and is working on a verse novel for young adults. Her book, the last day before snow, was published in 2016. It is a collection of collaborative tanka, written as responsive sequences with eight Australian tanka poets, including Kathy Kituai from Canberra. She is currently preparing a collection of poetry, free verse, prose poems, some of the Japanese forms and an adaptation of traditional forms such as villanelle, pantoums and sonnet.

 © 2017