Leila Lois – Three Poems

Last light

‘There is a coherence in things …’ Virginia Woolf—To the Lighthouse

I’ve made a tradition of chasing sunsets
all the distal way to the lighthouse,
through the blushing last breath of day,
to watch as the tall ecru tower
ignites a shawl of light
through violet dusk.

I see the candles my mother placed
in our bay windows lashed with sea-spray
& think how love is like a shining ruby,
while tides drift, sunlight fades.


You read aloud today’s
‘Did you know’ …
‘in your dreams you cannot smell?’
and I tell you
how strange, all night
I dreamed
that the air was frosted
so thickly across the city,
mist breathing into everything,
then I caught sight of your face,
fear vanished.
Losing my senses
had never felt so welcome.
The only thing in focus,
were your dreamy eyes,
the rest indistinct,


Como un ciego, regresé al jazmín de la gastada primavera humana.’ Pablo Neruda

A constellation of fumes and dust
the aureole streets shine
laced with ivy, buildings, lined
with stalls of jasmine
woody stalks, bursting blooms
in stellar hues
vanilla-yellow, opal and white,
sweet, heady
and impatient.
The city, a grand cemetery,
air timelessly glides
past tombs of buildings,
a mingling of flowers, half-dried and pink marble.
Stalked by sunset,
the light begins to fray as
I hold up jasmine to the dusk
and memorialise this day.



Leila Lois is a woman of Kurdish and Celtic heritage, who identifies as bisexual, and who has lived most of her life in Aotearoa. In her poems, Leila explores a personal sense of origin that, like the ocean, binds several landscapes and times, coming back to the idea that a timeless, boundless love pervades. Her publishing history includes Southerly, Djed Press, Right Now, Lite Lit One, Delving Into Dance and Salient.

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