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She stepped into her final watercolour:

a free-form impression that left behind

old portraits – of one’s own – in a room,

empty and still. Her carriage of conveyance

no longer weighed down by the burden

of her subjection to trapped character.

She knew that grounded embodiment

was merely a convenience of orientation,

and that in her hidden subterranean depths

a deeper calling was floating her

from the gravity that did not become her.

Her sketch bloated, but failed to flesh out

her discrete frame caged by orthodoxies.

Her fragmented selfhood, singularly inappropriate,

could not be contained within stiff boundaries.

Instead, she aspired and glided out,

smearing her palette with aquarelle images

that eddied in the impermanency

of creative destruction. Sensations,

implicated in the flow that surrounded her,

swirled and bore witness to the anchorage

of pockets of cold, hard stones dragging her down.

Her identity, weft, interwoven,

was tunnelled from a past - sealed and amiss -

that conjured scribbled, half-forgotten spectres.

Lost flotsam constantly resurfaced

around the bends of a remote backwater,

and ducked beneath the still surface 

having escaped her desecrated, sunken locker.

Material confinements of bearing and frock

took flight to allow concealed sighs

to celebrate her moments of being.

Being that could shift and wisp beyond grasps

of soured internment, into patterns

that would dance between acts of contingency.

Swirled and dappled and transitory,

she tried to fend back those shadowed facets

that flickered and dimmed and threatened

to ebb away, in waves, her fragile vision.

She hovered, in epiphanic moments,

between an illumination of human celebration

and the impersonal death-dealt drift

of years and physical decay.

Losing herself between silted banks

her strength dissolved, as the tyranny

of her desperate buoyancy became overloaded.

Awash in a seamless flow

that could not be landlocked by the lure

of lantern gig lamps, she searched at sea

for the rhythmic mirage of a luminous lighthouse,

realizing that significance was a mystery,

evoked through texture and tone,

knowing that substance, although focused,

was as crude and deadening as mud.

She breathed a language that spoke of 

the impermanence of life, while others drowned

in explication and petrified inscription.

Her courage was to smooth etched tablets

of tradition with pockets of air that would rise,  

after her drift, into a flowing freedom

of released bubbles. Marooned and damaged,

she tired of swimming in the swash of vacillating currents

that swayed between rigid polarities.

Sinking, weaving a tread of stepping stones

that led away from her stream of consciousness

to a river of uncontainable force,

she lost control – for there she was –


and oozed from the fixity

of being Virginia.



eing Virginia

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