Sunday, February 22, 2009


Oysters are the barnacles at land's edge.
Tangled together, we prise them from rock,
gather their gritty caves, as if leaving the reef
wrecked with tiny-white burrs of empty skulls.
Now the sea is touching our tongues,
our minds not listening to each other
as we slide the muscle between teeth;
taste the oyster, if only in one gulp.
We work all morning, the tide inching its high
watermark, renewing a chipped & mottled look.
We bend & stiffen in the gathering,
amble back to the quadrangle for ice.
Olive trees shading our walk, to our own
private view of a café island;
the wind gathering in our hair,
pushing us forward to cutlery & tablecloth,
cane chair, eyes swallowing an ocean.


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Helen Hagemann's first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. 'of Arc & Shadow' is her second full collection published by Sunline Press. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @​​docs/joyous_lake/


of Arc & Shadow


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