new zealand electronic poetry centre


Julie Needham

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology



The Fugitive
Though at the time he wouldn't say,
she says this painting is of her
as she always stands to play.
I who've witnessed that concur
it's very like, her pose, her hair
her shape, though I've not seen her nude
and nor did he, and that's the key
to what I see here, she flees him.
Indeed she did, though for a time
they were peers, sharing outings,
jarring actors with their jeers -
I saw that at the Mercury.
He of course can't now be asked.
Perhaps she says he didn't know
he'd painted her. I can't agree.
I see her piano is the lake.
He kneels in the land behind
naked, gnomic as that hill,
clawed at by his roots at left, while hers
wind up her line of flight at right
sinuous and strong, and their trees meet
beyond the frame in an ethereal sky.
I cannot see he could not know
that he painted them, and why.
I was told too she encouraged him
for once to let the colour stay.
Here it is, in evanescent tribute
while she escapes. "For what fate
from the past or post-apocalyptic
future does he or she evade?"
a book on landscapes asks.
At sometime we are history, if only
through the men we knew, hence
this footnote, his flatmate,
I leave a poem as a clue.
Keeping the mystery, it was she.

Last updated 20 May, 2005-->