Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Travelling Tent Show

The show had come to town.
big-top, small caravans, a lion

chasing its tail. It was an outing
with hairy camels, no one familiar,

only neighbour’s faces, some unknown.
Except for Dracula out front, there

were no zombies inside, no clattering
chains to pattern a death. Only lipstick-

clowns in toothless grins, twirling dogs
in tutus. There was more excitement

when tent pegs popped, when wall
skirts collapsed in the wind. Did they

hire a poltergeist or comic from
another town? Imagine us on the

hillcrest to home, a mother’s face
drooping, the circus torn on the outside,

vacant within, and your daughter’s
voice stretched as her red balloon,

calling, ‘Mum, will that nurse throw
the sword at the man, next time?’


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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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