Thursday, September 20, 2012


Dog at the Crossroads

 


          All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is
          contained in the dog.  Franz Kafka 

 A kelpie-cross waits at crossroads, morning

to dusk. At dusk wet from the mist, and in the

morning the breeze chilling her back.

Snout to damp grass, she hears an oak tree quivering

the volume of it, a distant grating on stones.

Ears in the dignity of listening.

Her back twitches with a horsefly touch, sending

a shudder to the base of her tail.

Two horses in a nearby paddock are nothing.

Three geese on the lake are nothing. 


Chickens at the back door are nothing.

Only people matter.

Someone passes her pooled eyes,

caught in that outward stare.

Prescience shows on her face

as if she is one of Pavlov’s dogs.

Two gates are pulled backward like oars.

One hand waves her on, two hands

click the latch, behind.

Her tail tracks like a metronome,

her legs swoop into the long grass,

her body braids a pathway, loosening vines.

There are things that you do not know.

The privacy of her.

The way she travels into shadows,  or milkweed,


those second thoughts before a walk or run.

Is that her silence echoing back from a measured stealth?

When the sun sinks into the blue tops of trees

and mist rings the valley, she turns halfway to laid scents,

runs back to the crossroads, the curve of lake

with the lights on it, to the paddocks of horses,

the same patch, and her body in it.








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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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