Sometimes I see in the sky endless beaches
covered with nations of every hue.
Transparent flags wave
in the morning wind,
and I am away.
There is a moving collage that beckons,
and without a second thought I lift up my head,
close my eyes, and dream
a million tiny speres.
A distant sea approaches, and recedes.
Breath is immaterial.
This moment transcends all others.



Year after year
images encrust,
forming alluring skins.
Eyes are glazed with paint,
immersed in places
that I did not create.

When I leave the earth
I will know
the colour of death.
And after chafing my hands on rocks
to uncover the texture of their pain,
I'll wrap them in
tissues of quotations,
whispering their many voices.

There will be no fanfare
when the secret substance of grief
begins to infiltrate my being,
only fragments of despair
torn from another space.

For centuries
ghostly waves
have moved through
my island,
calling me names,
suffocating my beauty,
razing my appearance to nothing.
But at the moment of dissolution,
when every molecule of my remembrance
the shroud will diminish,

will mean being left
with only
ashes and air,
certain angles of self,
and the disintegration of surfaces.



Diane Caney, 1996

These poems were first published in EXHIBITION NEWSLETTERNo 29 which accompanied Jonathan Barnard's exhibition Green, 15February - 5 March, 1996, at the Dick Bett Gallery, Salamanca Place, Hobart,Tasmania. They are arranged in the same sequence in which they were presentedin that publication.


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