Australia Poetry Magazine –

"Chance Encounter Along the Line" by Allan Lake


Title image shows a nightime view the Sydney Opera House.

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Published May 1st, 2023

Chance Encounter Along the Line

by Allan Lake
(Elwood, Victoria, Australia)

The Pacific and the rest of the unpacified world
warms as it turns. I visit a Canadian artist,
who sought meaning in paint, settled there.
Long ago we were impressionable boys,
hitching rides on a wintry white plain.
I landed in Australia and found sublime
meaninglessness, despite laws of physics,
Einstein, the fact I was not seeking absence.
It seems he found the opposite but we may
be calling the Muse by different names.
I call her Gladys after my mother.

Visual artist draws a line; I write a line
and then another and maybe more.
Both of us read instructions then override.
Like those saints, our late mothers,
we are now developing lines that
may be misread but that worries us not.
A silly sapling, I might have presumed
to read his palm but now we sit in silence
and stare to cumulus horizon, obey law
of gravity, grow old, wizened, unbound.
We wonder up and down lines, drawing
breath as we carefully, prayer-
fully mark time.

Allan Lake, originally from Saskatchewan, has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton, Ibiza, Tasmania, W. Australia and Melbourne. Lake won Lost Tower Publications (UK) Comp 2017, Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest 2018, and publication in New Philosopher 2020. Latest poetry chapbook (Ginninderra Press) is My Photos of Sicily. Literary journals in 15 countries have now published his poems and 70 were published in 2022.

This poem is included in Poetry World #6, published in the Wax Poetry and Art Library.

Previously published in Australia Poetry Magazine:
i wonder
by Valerie

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