Saturday, September 22, 2012


Becoming woman
 
i
 
I write myself on the page
not as the universal I, but 'woman'
padding the tide's morning surf.
a camera lucida of memory catches Broken Bay
in the earnest scurry of soldier crabs, the whoop of rod line
and sinker, rows of paddleboats, dinghies upturned
metres from a young girl/becoming woman.
on the bow of a boat, she ripples film into surface water
tilts the cabin's channel observance
before diving in
 
ii
 
she is woman now, remembering the real
that-has-been before the lens, first crack in the sepia edges
of an Ettalong shore, pylon cling of a Wagstaff ferry
its fluxive rub, seagulls shouldering flag-line
their white calligraphy of tarp.
silent beach empty as a lonely dune
waits for the first child out of school
waits for the ringed plunge of blood worms
summer's shifting canoe.
only the bay gives out a different call
when the seaweed's parted and a fisherman casts
an angry fist, buries the globe of his belly in water
 
 iii
 
 while ratcheting his dinghy
 there is no need for the ebb and flow of his outrage
 when there are machinations of a better catch, bay offering
 the martini of her sex, olive flesh, oblique lip, the aftermath
 of radio silence, channel marker showing signs
 of deeper water to come, inlet anchoring ideas
 into a dark grid of trees, barnacled shore
 
 iv
 
 there on that sea the boat's voice erupts
 churning silt into the engine's memory
 scuttling the gelatin-still surface, silver glide of whitebait.
 on the sandbar's thin back there is no one, no rock.
 only the sound of halyards clinking mainsail and jib, the scum
 of mutineers darkening the page, Phantom busy clapping heads
 off the coast of Martinique.
 she can't wait for the scrub slide, prickly foothills, his breath
 stinging her with last night's rum. she is Daisy lifting feathers
 from a comic book frame, spur-winging waves, the way
 waterfowl do, sending out an adrenalin of colour, though
 her aim is to run
 
 v
 
 she has become nineteen
 contemplating the way it was, ghosts under the bed
 voyeurs skirting her legs, flasher at Central. Liverpool beanie
 on a train journey, coercing his fingers under newsprint, 
 thinks he can tunnel the black hole of her knees.
 Phantom's Diana symbolically vanishes from the platform,
 as the day lingers in the hem of torchlight, in the descent of
 theatre stairs. the hushed expectancy: tunic in storms of sweetness,   
 candy pulp in miserable alleys, pace of streets under raucous shoes,
 the Saturday gaze of grimy men. the one from the bay still
 crunching his boots and black singlet into the words of her poem, over
 and over, his loose tongue ripping into the motor of memory
 the lost harbour of her youth
 
 vi
 
 a faint scent of the bay returns
 like entrails and fish-heads in the stern of a boat.
 this time, his image is the one the older woman
 releases into water
 catching the sunlight
 before it sinks and drowns.
 
 

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Evangelyne

Evangelyne
Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

of Arc & Shadow

of Arc & Shadow
Published by Sunline Press, WA

The Joyous Lake

Par écrit

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Helen Hagemann, MBA(Wrtg) ECowan. Her 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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