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Science versus wonder

  • 08 September 2009

Wonder IIIIYou talk of wonder and dusk and the sun setting below … IIIIas if it were not IIIIthe Earth spinning on … IIIIOf colour … as if more IIIIthan your visual cortex IIIItranslating wavelengths of light and … as I continue to inform you — of the greater span of the snake … IIIIyou point a cross

With your cervical vertebrae upwardly inclined you speed talk of stars … and wonder IIIII explain how you are IIIIdeceived by your body — IIIIfor we look down IIIIpinned by the force seen IIIIas I drop this half-eaten IIIIapple at your feet

IIIIAnd yet you talk of wonder … IIIIAnd I talk of the chemicals IIIIcrossing the synapses … Of this you remain wilfully unaware

IIIITalking IIIIof midnight … and wonder IIIIevidently unknowing IIIIyour midnight can IIIInever be mine

… of wonder and this IIIImoment … of being IIIIand invite me to share … IIIIIn exactly what??

As the constant in the measure of steps I re-enter the house … the equation for the droplets on my shoes?

IIIIIn your thoughtless version of time IIIIyou will come in eventually muttering IIIIabout a stiff neck … That is predicative

IIIIand regression analysis of the current IIIIdata would appear to demonstrate IIIIsignificance

–Kathryn Hamann

The night train One day you will realise, though you will not remember which day, since the days are in the end much the same, but still it will be one day and not another, it will be like switching on the lamp in the night train, you will never see the scenery for the reflection again.

And here it is. Wherever you go, you will find yourself already there — sitting not in the centre, but at the end of the bench, beneath the eaves, bag clutched in your lap. The rain comes in sideways, and your trouser cuffs are wet: the dots have joined like ink. It's unmistakeably you, the way, having slept against the headrest, curled around the bag, your hair now stands up at the crown, fronds of bedraggled fern; the way your trousers bunch in the flex of the hip. You must have alighted hours ago; and when the light behind the clouds went down beneath the chain link fence, when asked — Are you alright? you must have said — I'm waiting for someone to collect me. You're too polite to say: no.

–Belinda Rule

Kathryn Hamann is a Melbourne based poet. She is the author of five books; the latest, The Threshold of Silence, appeared in 2008. Her work has appeared Australia wide as well as overseas. One poem even travels free on Connex. Belinda Rule is a candidate for Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT. Otherwise she writes software specifications