Saturday, March 16, 2013

New Collection Soon to be Published by Sunline Press!


Grandmother & Granddaughter Poem

When my grandmother was frail,
not knowing it was cancer,
we’d sit in bed, facing each other;
two pillows at cornered walls, a toddy beside.
Gran would lift the lid of a brown suitcase, 
where apart from a silver wink in her eye,
she’d show fifty-percent of her life.
Nutmeg, cinnamon & ginger bartered in Malay stalls
at Paddy’s Markets, their spicy air arriving.
Tucked in newspaper: textiles, tablecloths, napkins,
slippers wedged together, a finery of nylon hose.
We’d go deeper & deeper, down into the suitcase,
Gran’s fingers tinkling glass buttons, pins, cotton reels.
Unpacking a day’s shopping, she’d lift my lips to sparkle
them candy-apple pink, round my cheeks with a light
touch of rouge; us mouthing ‘O’s’ like clowns in glass.
Gran just had her pills, so she prided herself with a new perm,
how her body warmed under a flannel shirt of her making.
Like those clowns we’d laugh at Gran’s bedside teeth,
coming out like stars. And she bequeathed me
more of her life. I knew she was happy, passing me
spindles of Ric-rac, ribbon, guipure lace; our hands
aglitter in bells & reindeers woven into braid.
She eased paper patterns from covers, kept material
when a bride. Citron pillow slips from her marriage bed,
now smelling of naphthalene, frayed at the edges;
her pale fingers, lucent as ice, shaking on the perfect
blue satin stitch of forget-me-nots.



This poem will be in my new collection "of Arc & Shadow" (tentatively titled). I know my poem Granddaughter & Grandmother has been popular so hopefully you will enjoy this! My grandmother was an angel, she taught me to sew, crochet, knit and also rug making. Although those skills have now lapsed, I remember her with great joy, spending time with me on the back step of our weatherboard and tin house.


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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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