Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wiseman's Ferry Punt

At the end of the road, the Wiseman's Ferry punt
waits for carriers, campers, bikes, and cars.
Beside the river, thick forested mountains rise up
like an impasse of landscape out of reach.

The punt is the only way to cross this wide expanse,
a deep, grey line of Hawkesbury River between streets.
Daggers of native orchids shoot out from sandstone,
and bracken fern hangs like lampshades.

While we wait in a slow-creeping queue, the day
scatters its noise: machines ramping behind (loud,
tattooed fat boys on Fat Boys). And overhead
the grace of a blue day bounces a hang-glider

while skiers, two abreast, pummel the river.
Inside our car, we take note of humorous words,
signs whitewashed, deleting 'occu' from 'occupants'.
We leave the road with a heavy thump. A wide tail gate

opens, dispersing our lethargy. Yet this slow passage
is an absence of haste. Why not enjoy this slow crawl
over a timeless river, we say. Further on, as our entry 
recedes we are water-born between forest and settlers;

small cottages, tin-roofed, edged with jetties, moored boats
and pylons. Pelicans congregate on this strip in no particular
order. The fat boys smoke and flex and we are reminded
that they will leave first. For now, we are discovering

a bygone century, the spirit and backdrop of Wiseman's
Ferry. When we leave with a clunk, the gate swinging
out from its simple lock, we are relaxed, reined in, this slow
drowsy trip bringing us down to where we should be.


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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 @​​docs/joyous_lake/

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