Sunday, June 7, 2009

Evangelyne

In the days coming to your door
from school, you practising Mozart & Liszt,
I wanted to climb inside your songbook.
Your fingers searched a Viennese waltz
− a melody I longed to play.
Evangelyne, you made lullabies of flight, lifting me
as a heron stretched from a lake.
In the practice of scales, I flew with blue wrens
atwitter in the shadows of leaves.

Where are you now, Evangelyne,
so many winters gone from home?
Are you still selling apples in your store,
playing Schubert, Brahms?
I have a daughter who plays,
her voice, mellow between breaths.
The steely notes of her guitar bringing lonesome sounds
of highways & a red suitcase to my door.

Like you, she left home to find meadows of stillness.
At the airport, my voice silent as prayer;
her small belongings clumping along
on a carousel to Carlton.

Evangelyne, I wish you good tidings, fields of clouds,
blessings from an old churchyard. Remember
how we rocked in the bosom of Abraham?
Remember the Minister's whistling teeth,
the mischief of our throats?
− all that's silenced now.

When my daughter returns, she opens a window
through a fretwork of strings.
When I listen to Mozart, to Liszt,
you open that old songbook,
& the youth we stumbled in.


(Inspired by Emmylou Harris)

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Evangelyne

Evangelyne
Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

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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 @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/

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