copyright Charlie Holt

Beginning My Last Novel

in Poetry

I began with a duck in my bedroom.

It was weird but comforting.

‘Images of Wartime’ was on the bookshelf.

I began to write.


I had no idea what was coming out of my fingers.

But I trusted that Fate would swing on my side, like Douglas Fairbanks.

It turned diamond bright and sketch-dark

in an auspicious moment


but I couldn’t keep up with my own ideas

because it had already turned dark pink with a hint of 1599,

I was writing the final chapter first.

Was Just William going to save the day accidentally? Not on my pages.


Coming in a minute!

There’s time to go around the Blue Mountains

one more time before supper.


Which is when I found

you sprawled on the kitchen floor, a knife in your mind,

clutching the opening of my last novel.


Jude Cowan Montague is the editor of The Sunday Tribune’s poetry column, Poetry Expo. Her collection, ‘The Originals’ (2017) is available from Hesterglock Press. Her previous collections are ‘For the Messengers’ Donut Press (2011), ‘The Groodoyals of Terre Rouge’ Dark Windows Press (2013) and ‘The Wires, 2012’ Wisdom’s Bottom Press (2016). Her graphic memoir ‘Love on the Isle of Dogs’ will be published as a limited edition art-book in 2020.

Jude Cowan Montague is an artist and broadcaster. She produces 'The News Agents' for Resonance FM, a weekly show experimenting with international story and the arts. She worked at Reuters Television News for many years as an archivist and this has informed her poetry and some of her art. She's an award winning printmaker and a composer. Her graphic memoir 'Love on the Isle of Dogs' is available from Central Books.

Latest from Poetry

Chris Hemingway

Casey raises a century’s sad eyes towards the ceiling cracks. Like he’s
Go to Top