Saturday, October 1, 2011

Camping

We pack after Christmas,
a band of pilgrims heading out
on the open road.

This is the best time of year when nights
are full of stars and clouds have slung
their guy-ropes across another town.

Cruising Walpole, trees cast their long shadows
like mesh across insects and streams. We explore
pioneer camps, axe handles in old markings,
phantom footprints of an agreeable time.

We have the night sky all to ourselves. It warms
us like saplings around the glow of fire sparks.
We join the moon couched in tangerine, all
asleep under the heavens and all tucked in.

Now, this is something different. The children’s
grown-up diction makes bittersweet an absent
father, a Ted Hughes. And echoing Plath’s words,

The man was a lion and had the voice like the thunder of God.

But none of this can be wasted. It’s part of time, the memory
of young children fishing, coursing mountain walks, spider
webs that hung their sticky tremble on narrow paths.

Our surfcat leaving the shore, the dog’s abandoned bark
filling the bay, his black body slapping forward in a confusion
of wind and wave, as we sailed further away.

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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. 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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