Please note that the poems and essays on this site are copyright and may not be reproduced without the author's permission.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013



'He took a long, long farewell of the Princess, and when he got out of the Giant's door, there stood the Wolf waiting for him': Illustration by Kay Nielsen in East of the Sun and West of the Moon, 1914, 198 x 150 mm (Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library New Zealand)

The sad strange someone not I who lay
awake in the ruined
dark all night listening
across the long abyss of loss and rue
and truth and suffering and wonder
to the strained painful
coughing of the one being loved
above all others
and whispering to
the wolf waiting outside the door


Marge Bodidilo and Tibby Gill (assistants to International Stampede artist Steve Clemento), in sharp-shooting act at the garden party for the farewell to Governor Game (held to raise funds for the District and Bush Nursing Association): photo by Sam Hood (1872-1953), 11 January 1935 (State Library of New South Wales)




. . . someone not I . . .

. . . all night listening
across the long abyss of loss and rue . . .

. . . whispering to
the wolf waiting outside the door



light coming into sky above still black
plane of ridge, red-tailed hawk calling
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

forms arranged on a surface,
planning of positions

to look at, two parts of it,
“other planes of body”

edge of sun rising in cloud above ridge,
fog on horizon to the left of the point

Nin Andrews said...

Very moving, this poem.

Nora said...

I second Nin's sentiment. This is almost unbearably good.

Wooden Boy said...

loss and rue
and truth and suffering and wonder

All these things are bound up with each other in a life lived and felt.

Every honour and blessing to the Prince and Princess.

May there be only one wolf at your door.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

Echoing Nin, Nora and Duncan, this is indeed a poem to howl about.

TC said...

Many thanks, everybody.

I must say that Kay Nielsen Wolf appears to be doing a passable imitation of A Prince's Best Friend.

I'll take that ride (nice saddle!) over the late bus that never arrives, every time.

Wondering about the role of the third woman in the second photo (work of the great Sam Hood). Simply watching? Scorekeeping?

Best to stay out of harm's way, in this sort of situation.

But... exactly what sort of situation would it be?

Sharpshooting with pickaxes?

A fine farewell to the Guv, in any case.

TC said...

From our good friend Hazen, on the road and foiled by Blogger in attempting to comment:


These days one finds a touching resonance in every word of this . . .

While passing along the sun blasted sidewalks of Luling, Tex-ass yesterday, I spied the Twin Palms Spa and Sanctuary, complete with surveillance camera affixed atop the wall, and thought of you Tom, and recent musings here, trying to make sense of the incongruous.


Thanks very much for that, Hazen. The old soldier who's always got my back.