Dominique Hecq – Gorge

Hecq LE P&W June 2023

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Live Encounters Poetry & Writing June 2023

Gorge, poem by Dominique Hecq.


so cold the ends of twigs burn white with frost
voices hover over flames sing to the fire’s crackle
silent cadences squeeze the breath out of your chest
you wait for daybreak’s natural selection to lisp
moonlight prayers dyed bright orange yellow blue
enter the freezing dawn sorrows fist in your pocket
head straight for the falls your pursuer a ghost
you twist up the path foot lighter at every step
to the highest point of the cuesta brushing
past bush peas orchids pincushion lilies
myrtle showy bauera trymalium – narrow leafed
as the path climbs into infinity tints
where a child stirs opens an eyelid
you swoon on the edge inches from a lip
here hard rock layers overlie soft shoulders
pressed into lichen moss periwinkles
you stray outside of yourself breath captured
high up on the ledge you look into the earth’s
throat – the lake a crescent moon shimmering
eye half shut on cut glass shades reflected
so brilliantly it hurts this is the moment
to lie down from deep in the earth a cry
the echo throws back voices cascading the day
the world crumbled mere wafer in memory’s
tremulous granite inexplicably
this exquisitely winged blue butterfly
flutters in from glittery mists waxing air
cymbals! is what you want as it unfurls
gossamer in gold filigrees green sky
glints a tempo tears trickle into folds
of time your wings so old they shed smoke
blue dust frames of canted bone fault lines
of stippled faith passing through shadows
your breath returns in a foreign tongue
harmonies soar shatter frost wings feather
the depth of walls on the verge of words
you pick up the butterfly’s dance leap
along the cuesta’s crest time’s ligatures
tremble in the breeze the dawn’s patina
glows against sheets of basalt trills
flit rise and fall in vocalic folds

© Dominique Hecq

Dominique Hecq grew up in the French-speaking part of Belgium. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia. Hecq writes across genres and disciplines—and sometimes across tongues. Her creative works include a novel, six collections of short stories and fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, including After Cage: A Composition in Word and Movement on Time and Silence (Liquid Amber Press, 2022) and, most recently, Songlines (Hedgehog, 2023) and Endgame with no Ending (SurVision, 2023), a winner of the 2022 James Tate Poetry Prize.

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