Joan Fleming



For years, he carried the soily dogged mood around like a dirt stain. Like he was a digger with fingernails, in the garden of the un-done. But even the doggest of dogs can be trained to fetch and bury at the Gates of Go. Time passed. And he came to treasure those dark half-moons, came to call them ‘crescents’: a far more beautiful word for something that’s whole, even though it has a dark side.



Joan Fleming writes and teaches in Golden Bay, NZ. Her prose-poems will be published in the DUETS chapbook, which pairs one New Zealand and one US poet.

Fleming writes: “This poem was written last winter, while I was dog-sitting and thinking about sadness. There was a scrap of poem on the fridge, an old Irish poem, which talked about ‘The Gates of Go’. It was badly photocopied, but the black borders made the white poem more luminous. I reckon darkness can be fruitful.”