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Contemporary Kant

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution, David Atkinson is moved by a pair of lost souls amid the ‘grit-glazed concrete’ of the city streets.

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Contemporary Kant

‘Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for’.
German philosopher Immanuel Kant, 1724–1804,
central figure in modern philosophy.

Parka soiled, burnt coffee blanket
crumpled on the greatcoat.
Greasy hair, entangled face of fatigue.
She could be sixty. Or sixteen.
Raw breeze gusts through the arcade.

Perhaps her dog, spread-eagled, was a Border Collie,
now ghosted charcoal.
Bred long ago to round up lambs
far from this city precinct.

Pedestrians flock, sheep in silence,
the blast, the blare of traffic;
a savour of the streets,
of grit-glazed concrete.
Her face a blank page
but the book has been written.
Someone to love; defeated hand,
hardened, strokes the dog.

Stooping to drop some coins;
if I don’t help,
the dog might die.

David Atkinson is a Sydney poet and retired lawyer. For more than 30 years he was the managing partner of the law firm which he co-founded. His poems have been published widely in Australia and the US. Favoured areas for poetic exploration include the human condition, nature and wildlife, and also the rural life of the past. His poetry collection ‘The Ablation of Time’, published last year, is available through Ginninderra Press, Adelaide.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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