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Dementia's wings

  • 09 December 2008

Is 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 relieved at the last to let this kicking child go? 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 me 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 Hamann is a Melbourne based poet. Her fifth collection of poetry, The Threshold of Silence, was published in April 2008.