unhelmeted 
helmet
                                                                              With her mind
                                                  I dreamed the blue sky
                                          through an empty visor.
                       And without disguise
                                       I saw the shining face of childhood
                       and my tiny self,
                              framed,
             down the end of a gun-barrel ...
or was it an oval frame
        on a forgotten mantelpiece?
                       yes, I think it was ...
and I saw a child, older now, staring
           out ofa fading family album,
with crazy blue-green eyes,
                      looking like she wanted to kill someone.
          And even afterthat,
                       I discovered an anonymous girl, on drugs,
              a wild bush-teenager slapping ripolin onto some old
 scraps
                       of masonite,
            her gun hovering
      like a ghost ...
 

           I thinkshe died,
or went to sleep,
     perhaps, on a small pale pillow of hope
       set against a back-drop of despair...
          but there'sa burnt sienna head floating,
                                 somewhere,
                 in pools of jacaranda blue,
visible only to those who read,
     across and through
  and around ...
in the spaces where
   paint can merge
with thoughts
    and words
and something else ...
         but she's there, still
  as a Nolan Shakespeare
sonnet
      or some other
                       utterly brilliant
                     verbal
                      sludge
                     that sings, sometimes
                                                 after dark.
 

Diane Caney, 1998
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