by Helen Hagemann

Guitar Statue

A dark grey, a very dark grey, quite dark it is almost black. This statue is a composition not for practice. Ordinarily, a guitar would stand in a better place, a better place where the strings are alive with every occasion. Solid and far from untidy, it rests on cobblestones, a reminder of cherished refrains, an exterior surrendering and not quite dreary in wind as there is so much of its shape working not to be ordinary, and not tardy. It’s a receptacle, a symbol, silent in its custom, but never silent when there’s anticipation, a lively concert with exceptional meaning and feeling from exuberant voices.


Archways are charming places when it’s raining Umbrellas are out and this shows direction. Looking into its space it’s hanging, a shape heavy above with melody. It leads to sweet singing, a stage of learning and it’s not disappointing when a ticket is entry. Returning, there is semblance where shadows are darker and there is no dust and no dirt within. Stones are arranged in splendour, stone on stone and cheaper and not shown by marks or by wetting. A statue is looking into this place and seeing a statue means relief, it does, it certainly does not cause frustration. Through the archway there are courtyards, a line of life and stairways to an amusing side, a little dog holding a cup to a tuneful accordion. An archway will take you to all this and coffee, and short orders, waiters and cooks.

What is a bridge but a cover, a right way to cross. Certainly from point to point and all that and more in reverse. If arched in stone, it is quite possibly solid, a habitable space, a place of old age and soldiers with sandals anxiously passing over. Characteristically, there is a full carriage of river beneath its passage. Water of no particular colour, except there is a powerful release of white spillage, this shows reason and a steadiness to fall, to fall is the best way. Here, the river is broader and wider which makes the length a sudden place. There is a kind of eddy, a sound deafening and a joyful mist spraying. The bridge spans two meadows, hills of tiny purple daisies. Of course, two sides to a bank and one calls for repose, wine and a blanket. It’s remarkable how peaceful each one suggests. This is a separation, yet the bridge joins the two to be a whole.


There is a whole collection made. Three boards and there is a filling, no delay with the right measure. There is pleasure in fired clay, artefacts of cork and country. They are little gifts of language, too, to be kept and mounted. Ladies will be sales of beautiful, beautiful! Very likely it is a passion and can speak of reckless spending, eyes on wristwatch, a parcel nicely and no ribbon. Some might be dearer but in any case there is a bargain. The best thing to do is to take it away and register its purpose with gratitude. Its place will be a revision of time.

A Fountain
A fountain is a point of return if lost. The heart will embrace the sound of water. So pure is the flow that nearly all of it shows pearls of light. It’s remarkable when the basin is level and not an inch over, one spout covering the work of two. It’s a spring of hope if hot or cold but does not mean soap. Unprecedented change and the whole thing blackens, is broken, so the mending shows the culture is Portuguese. The blue and gold tiles can cause the whole thing to be a church.

About the Author:

Helen Hagemann

Helen Hagemann lives in Perth, Western Australia. She has two collections of poetry, Evangelyne & Other Poems (APC Melbourne) and ‘of Arc & Shadow’ (Sunline Press, WA). Helen is working on a series of prose poetry recently inspired by the environment and architecture of Portugal and by spending time at ARTErra Rural Artist Retreat, Lobão da Beira.