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Kris Hemensley

to come away with Hesiod
and leave the rock as though to rocks
the tree to trees and dwell on other things

imagine the injunction
to leave the mint to its own devices
amongst the dust & stones in the shadow
of rocks or tree-roots hard as rocks

imagine poems like tended mint
or poems like wildest mint which survives
the oblivion of feckless gardeners
until plucked by knowing fingers
after the fiercer heat’s abated

imagine poems left to their own devices
as poets gorge on air & airy thoughts
& figures — the idea cuts me
to the bone of a sobriety earned
at the expense of the airiness Hesiod
was commissioned to name

but who wouldnt seize a staff of bay
or ash or gum and trade common or
garden cough for lungsfull of song
taking the world in one’s stride
careering towards heaven?

Kris Hemensley

Kris Hemensley, Westphalia, 1993; photograph copyright © Inge Timm, 1993, 1997

Kris Hemensley is the proprietor of Collected Works bookshop in Melbourne, Australia.

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