Dementia's wings

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Time an Aunt
in the Wodehouse sense?

Was Spenser, ignorant of his Sun's
inner life, wrong to process Mutability
so she could be found to be less;

an unable alchemist?

Does, in truth, this Titaness toss a ball
that endlessly unravels? We race — as if
we were able to catch a chameleon thread.
For she — in dilation or contraction — is
most surely the very flesh of Time. She —
that infinite variety of garment; the rhetoric
of colour speaking the insubstantiality of sky.
She is the pungency as fruit blasts
releasing life.

Or rather, do I find myself
forcing Time to be visible as
a kind of ever-ageing child?
one I discipline upon
the straight and narrow:
a natural for the pressing
forward — that necessary
onward ho?

And yet, if death be the final
act of birth, is Time like
every good mother
at the last to let
this kicking child

Weeping in the place of my father

You are the city that recognised
no temple but yourself in which
to worship
those precious sparkling walls of intellect

Dementia has snuggled you under
her wings smothering all but
the distrust
you thought was yours to hold or release

Shall I go down and trouble
you with my touch? you as yet able
to bar
the gates — as you always have from yourself

If I were to offer words — they would
twine coil twist and strike
who seduces with serpent embrace

Any hinted tears are those fabled
ones belonging to the crocodile
the beast
who will ever misplace its name

Away — as night demands
the search for streets I have savaged
from sight
my wingless weeping would gather you in

Kathryn HamannKathryn Hamann is a Melbourne based poet. Her fifth collection of poetry, The Threshold of Silence, was published in April 2008.



Topic tags: kathryn hamann, is, weeping in the place of my father, new australian poems



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Existing comments

Thank you for these wonderful poems - I have always said I have a definitive time - can't save it or waste it -
And I very much related to the poem about dementia, my husband had dementia for 10 years before he died and for all the loss and sadness I gained so much in caring for him - the smile in his eyes was there till the last, thank you again

margaret o'reilly | 09 December 2008  

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