Thursday, April 26, 2018


Archways are charming places when it’s raining. Umbrellas are out and this
shows direction. Looking into its space it’s hanging, a shape heavy above
with melody. It leads to sweet singing, a stage of learning and it’s not
disappointing when a ticket is entry. Returning, there is semblance where
shadows are darker and there is no dust and no dirt within. Stones are
arranged in splendour, stone on stone and cheaper and not shown by marks
or by wetting. A statue is looking into this place and seeing a statue means relief,
it does, it certainly does not cause frustration. Through the archway there are
courtyards, a line of life and stairways to an amusing side, a little dog holding
a cup to a tuneful accordion. An archway will take you to all this and coffee,
and short orders, waiters and cooks.

It's amazing the amount of writing you get done while away from home. I have really enjoyed Portugal (although only partially seen), but as a writer-in-residence I have been able to lock myself away from life's distractions, haven't had to do housework and therefore there is this intense concentration on your work. I have finished editing my asbestos novel, have ideas for a fourth and have enjoyed writing several prose poems inspired by the environment, landscape and objects around me in Lobao da Beira, in Tondela, and in Coimbra - a Medieval town.

The prose poetry (I feel) is taking a new course. In the past I have written about my life, etc. and I felt it was time to move on to something more challenging -  prose poetry that doesn't get bogged down with figurative language ie. metaphor and simile, but works to subvert the image. I'm inspired by Gertrude Stein whose poem Tender Buttons describes things and objects in an artistic way, a little sklent, often leaning to the obscure, yet her intention was to challenge the reader to make meaning for themselves. I like this idea, and I am currently working on a collection titled "Random" - using objects and things sometimes overlooked, sometimes not interesting enough to be worthy, yet these inanimate objects can create "art" and imbibe different ways of using language. 

The images I'm currently using from Portugal have been a different and interesting landscape from my own country, Australia. I guess mainly it's because one is out in the world and this brings new experiences and challenges. I am really enjoying creating this new form.


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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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