Saturday, September 8, 2012





Purple Swamphens


some purple hides near the tail
they go on making it from blue
gradually you become aware
of their bill in red, turquoise chest
to tiny face, white undertail,
brown and orange feet

the only purple is a distant view
of perfumed jacaranda
when purple is floral and warm
it settles on the sky over slatted roofs
when you go down to the water’s edge
Swamphens run in pairs, black tails
flicking Morse code amongst the reeds

an exquisite creature, runs a four-way spread
of feet as a fretwork to its flighty footwork

when purple socks hang to dry
you go on seeing that swamp-bird fly
not wade to the bank on the other side
purple socks fly in the wind, and when snug
inside your shoes, that space between foot
and cuff can’t be seen
much like the purple
on a black and Purple Swamphen 

Photographs by Helen Hagemann (c)

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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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