after Lewis Morely, ‘Donovan, musician, London’ (1965)
At 12.30, half an hour late, Donovan Leitch comes in
for his photo-shoot with Lewis
wearing his crazy floral shirt. I’ve
lost my glasses! he says. But you don’t
wear any, says Lewis. They’re new, says Donovan, and
pink. I had them in my hand. We’ll have to call
the cab company. I’ll
do that, I say, not wanting any more delay, while
you get ready, and I go
down to the phone at the end of the hall.
They put me through to Lost Property. It takes
a while to explain. They’ll trace the job, they say,
and get a message to the driver
but it might take a while before he can check
behind the seats, etcetera, though it’s
more likely someone’s taken them already.
When I get back, Lewis is adjusting the lights
and Donovan’s in front of the mirror
with his back to us and elbows
spread like the wings of a duck. It’s al-
right, he says, turning, with his fingers
around his eyes, looking for all the world
like Amelia Earhart in her
aviator’s goggles, about to set off
for Australia,
They were in my hands all along! One
eye peering out as if he’s
half a century away already
wondering what it’s all about.



This poem is in response to the photograph, 'Donovan, musician, London' (1965)
by Lewis Morely and forms part of the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2020.