'Tugullawah' by Samuel Wagan Watson | States of Poetry QLD - Series Two

for Aunty Suzie Wilson

We’d often give Dad a lift to work along this bent stretch of the river.
Maiwar curved here like a boomerang hook. Ghosts that tasted heavy
of pork bones hung in the dawn; most of Murrarie had been invaded by
K.R. Darling Downs. You would almost hear the unified groan at 5 am,
when all the workers formed a single-file; it was our own home-bred
Metropolis of slaughter yards and runs of silver pipe lines ... like some
communist propaganda film out of Kampuchia ... The refinery provided
an eternal blue flame to honour the troops; Borthwicks carved up
countless bovine for the mess-tents of Vietnam’s theatres ...

I still had no comprehension for English; but, one day a bloke called
Robert Adamson would show me how to punctuate fish ... Riverbend
Books eventually sprouted in Oxford St., selling some pages of my
poetry ... bending the fiction of my 1970s pulp-reality ...

And that teacher
I will never forget,
cursing me
with her crooked encouragement..
‘Sammy...Watson...you’re just...a stupid...little...daydreamer!’

Samuel Wagan Watson