Gouache, Sheep Skulls, Fence Bracket

1 March 2017

I

Animals in Venetian masks
stare through floral constellations;
a strange surfacing
of herbal machinations
and cloven-hoof memories;
a fondness, somewhere
for droughtless green.

Look closer.
The skulls are singing,
more like bird-beaks than sheep.
Forget-me-nots break
across bone
as if souls commune,
call back,
jigsaw a collective self.

II

This is about a rasp of sheep;
a four-cornered star
shining the sacrament
of limited diagonals,
and yet, in sockets of dark,
a kind of backward birthing.

How to place gouache
and not annul the souls of sheep.
How to stamp passports
of those who dream the inner side
of crates—
a floating, rocking panic.

Their flowers are dispensed.
Ragged edges stumble
into blackened bone.
Quietly, they bleed
in palest pink.


Notes:
In response to Steven Holland, Monaro, 2001 Gouache on sheep skulls,
on welded fencing wire bracket 40 x 40 x 15.0 cm at Canberra Museum.

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