About the Poem
About the poet
Jan Owen, born in Adelaide in 1940, traces her lineage back through generations of Welsh...
The Trellis Fence
The trellis fence
being a heavy investor in space
is half inclined to flight.
I've hedged its bets
threading the tipply bougainvillea through
to the neighbour's side and back
greening this graph of chance
its vertical why and horizontal how
so the sinuous branches surge
diagonal as a stellar run on the ASX
with one long overarching bough
dipping yes and swaying no
searching some further purchase for upside
(my winter peach tree, say)
and meeting wind
as a question mark in flower -
magenta bunchlets, glossy hooks, pale buds
so overleaping any trope with tropism
I've left intention to its own co-ordinates.
The damp half-naked backyard
intimates thought, the cool bare
abstracts angle in. I'll have to prune them back
the vine and tree, a sort of tiny, necessary pain -
dark energy tied to matter hurls us on.
They say the universe forgets itself
and starts again. One way-out speculator says
that disappearance-ripples enter each new time
so nothing of love and green will travel on
as profit but the edge of loss.
Maybe we need another
part of speech - little time words
presuppositions, to wind our concepts
through, then back, higher-dimensioned with now.
In flower. Holding on. Ungeared with doubt.
Listen - the gentle old arthritic drawl of chooks
the soft concurrence of doves on the fence
half-knowing why all this should ever be.
© Jan Owen, used by permission of the author and publisher