|Jul/Aug 2017 Poetry Special Feature|
Inspired by the art of Hayley Megan French
Artist is young—she engages the gallery
with her analysis of time and energy.
The art is something I do not understand.
Large canvases thick with layers of black acrylic,
fallen night sky, or darkened earth?
White abstract shapes intercept:
silent landmarks retrieved from private invention.
Putting canvas aside,
in a photograph of baked landscape
she has painted an orange box/
awkward in the backdrop/
a mute siren dragging the eyes
into a nameless dimension.
Is the intrusion psyche or heart?
Cloaked emotion too elusive
to define within uniform expression?
I am restless and yet serene,
black, white and orange offer a revelation:
connected fluidity that paces heartbeats
to a slow fix.
Throat is filled with ribbon syllables
until the sound is nothing more
than the intake of a naked breath.
The sun sneezes,
clouds grunt to feign friendship
with their cold spit.
Yesterday I fed a stray cat,
chicken mince left on the doorstep
is hardly heroic—it brought a smile though—
since cats are not my favourite breed.
Aversions change—like so many other adjustments
kneaded and baked into a uniform existence.
A distant siren breaks the midnight truce
to wail an eerie epitaph:
ring the bells/
scale the walls/
the touch of love is missing.
Camomile tea slips into another sleepless gallery,
phantoms write memos on the bedside table,
silence calls my name.
In the witching-hour reality dissolves
into a ribbon mirage,
things of the past regurgitate
like the tang of a quandong pie.
A token dawn prowls the window sill:
every sunrise must apologise for another heedless day.
Fate is hung in hazes rolling in across the mulga,
skin scorches in a heatwave,
winter winds sting the eyes.
There is an inner space