A vagrant thought to which I cannot fix a word
speaks of the soul—too big a stretch?— of search
through properties, blind chases where I catch
a bar of red, white brow or whistled note
enough for just a rapid notebook sketch
from memory that’s needing working up
later, in meticulous elsewheres:
full line-ups of exhibits laid on sides
lie like embedded misquotation marks
exponentially removed, in cabinet drawers,
from airborne seeds of snow or singeing fires.
White gloves discreetly push their silence shut
not worrying a quarry only dreamt.
But Wolseley’s sweep of paper barely scratched
through cover where both fire and eye have paused
grants both the hunted and the hunter room to move
a vagrant meditation without close
(that bird I thought I saw being long gone)
James Lucas has taught English at Sydney Grammar School since 1999. He has published poems in many journals since the 1990s, including, in the past few years, cordite poetry review (52: 2016; 80:2017; 82:2017), Southerly (2016), Island 158 (2019).