Virginia Jealous (Australia)


***Australian writer Virginia Jealous will be resident at ComPeung during March and April 2014. She will be working on Flightpath: Thailand, a project of fiction and non-fiction, written in prose and poetry. Flightpath: Thailand takes as its starting point the East Asian-Australiasian flyway for migratory birds and will explore literal and metaphorical notions of ‘flightpath’. It is part of a wider, regional arts initiative with plans to work widely across borders and across cultures, with local networks of all sorts – including perhaps birdwatchers, refugees and scientists – as well as with artists of all disciplines:


For the first week of my residency at Compeung, Kaye Aldenhoven – a friend and writer from Australia – was also staying in Doi Saket. We were each working, independently, on long, longer-term pieces of writing.

However when we began to share some of our daily notes they often manifested as haiku – almost as short as poems can get. And it was as if, unplanned, these poems were having a conversation with each other.

Here are some of these snapshots-in-words. They describe the same sensuous world, experienced differently. They are simultaneously as tangible and as ephemeral as the moment itself.

Kaye’s poems are to the left; mine to the right.

Virginia Jealous, May 2014


from neglected mango trees
drowned in creepers
koel calls insistently

white lotus buds bloom
white-breasted waterhen stalks
lily pads quiver


case moth larvae
cling to rice leaves
at home I feed them to gliders

goshawk takes chicken
bearing featherweight burden
barely gets airborne


long, lithe, alert
ruddy otter jumps onto padi wall
slides into grass thicket

learning to be dog
fat-as-butter-puppy squeals:
admits submission


Flightpath: Thailand is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-Thailand Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.***