On the Lookout

Monday, April 1, 2019
Allan Lake

I went out looking for one this afternoon,
just after an uninspiring lunch of leftovers.
Sometimes I hear one singing or repeating
a single syllable but other times I catch sight
of a flash of colour or happen upon one
as it’s dozing. I even located one by scent.
You’re unlikely to find one if you wander
about hoping to find one but I do anyway.
Like us, their habitat is anywhere,
so I prowl with my net, my dart, combing
the You Never Know Department.
Rare ones behave like they want to be caught,
flirt with you, flop into your arms.
More love-making than wrestling.
There’s pastry and coffee along the way
no matter what. Reward regardless.
That’s Policy. I don’t believe in suffering
while on the hunt; that generally comes later.
You will capture and be captured
by your prey or return home unscathed,
in which case there’s TV, a siesta,
a book, another snack or even a bit
of righteous dusting which doubles
as atonement for being human
and a reminder of the dust that is.
This all fills hours well enough until
I eyeball one, seize it and wrestle it
into submission. Eventually we let go,
wonder why and the whole process
somehow starts again.
Nothing found today, so this.

About Allan Lake

Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania and now calls Melbourne home. Two collections published: ‘Tasmanian Tiger Breaks Silence’ (1988); ‘Sand in the Sole’ (2014). Allan won Elwood Poetry Prize in 2016, Lost Tower Publications Poetry Comp 2017 and Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Festival/The Dan Competition in 2018.