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David has previously published in The Australian, The Age, Overland, Tirra Lirra and Australian Poetry. He has had careers in education and theater. He now lives with his partner in Hobart, Tasmania.


Trigger Warning

He was not mine but I opened the door through which he stepped.
Now he has escaped. I miss him but leave him to run free.
I cannot return him to the page, to service, not even of poetry.

Poem horse has stepped off the page and into the world,
His neighing rings like bells, shattering hills.
He is as solid as rock, as dense as coal, as unyielding as iron.

There is nothing fey about him. His hooves ring on stone,
His mane ripples, he shows terrifying teeth.
He is mighty through and through.

See his muscles move, see his eyes glow, missing nothing.
He has a grace about him, a timeliness, a majesty.
Perhaps he is the king of poem horses.

He turns backs and looks. His eyes are clear, seeing everything.
Does he distinguish me from the trees and mud, the grass?
He turns again. His mighty eye rolls on. I am irrelevant, comforted.

I have said farewell. My poem horse is free. He gallops through galaxies,
Pulls no cart, wears no bridle nor tinkling harness, for
Who could capture him? He will never be caught.

I hope he leaves a trail of stardust, so that, one day, I will trace him,
Make notes and record his adventures, his incredible feats, my poem horse.
His bulk, his mighty stature have pleased me so, I weep, wondering

How he happened to me. My small life, in this small place, has
Contracted further yet, like a neutrino, an acorn, a dinghy at sea.
What else may appear? I am silent. I wait.

Goodbye, poem horse. You are no more mine. I will listen for
Fabulous tales, for gossip, tentative whispers, the cautious voice
Daring to ask could this be true? May we surmise?

My page is full. Go well, poem horse, in the darkest,
Furthest reaches. Swallow suns, bathe in novae, dance for us
In absolute space, do impossible things for us, to us.

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