Australian National Gallery
“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days”
(Thompson’s `Hound of Heaven’)
Nothing there at first except a square
the colour of the cinders in the soul.
But watch that darkness – watch the cross grow where
the brush marks meet and merge in space that lies
behind that black and patterned canvas – hear
the stillness that you stand in shatter and
a Hound howl closely for a moment. Then
you’ll try to keep this chilling thing outside,
to thrust it out of earshot, cast it far
beyond the place where minds go, somewhere where
our hope meets disbelief – and charred things are.