Last Poem

Chae Paterson

The Woman Who Runs with Mongrels and Poodles ‘Yes! love dogs: a cement in life’s mix’

Dad repeating on loving days; ‘the dog charmer’
little did he know the dog charmed me
taught; how to get on – belong
exist amongst crowding
a narrative of ingenuous outsider;
the reality - the youngest of six
the eldest of many grandchildren,
cousins, neighbours and such
communities good and bad;
the ghetto think-tank   the hard lesson
quash a dragon-like defiance
in the making of a pack-love
paved paths drawn on; signage vanishes
after heavy flooding rain
an empty street again and again
similar to artful graffiti chalk
washing away, though not
the cement in the mix
the infinite ways
canines heal hurts
simply finds togetherness
instinctually heals what can be  
humanly fixed

Chae has over her life been involved in many Community works; paid and unpaid. Performed as singer/songwriter and member of troupes and bands. Raised two children partnered and as a sole-parent. As a mature-age student; in her thirties, completed BA hons. Postgrad studies were not completed, although very much the conceptual material – has been the figurative backbone of her writing. Mental health; illness and limiting circumstances, at the time made it impossible for her to complete in conventional ways. A participant in many writer groups; chapbooks, recent publication, collection with partner; “Lines in the Sand – Etchings on Time. Willing participant in e-journals, Poetry sites on social media and community radio. Tutoring young students in VCE, collective community development and working in a mental health cooperative are some of her most valued experiences.  



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