'Sedgeland Nation' by Ben Walter | States of Poetry Tasmania - Series Two

if we are straws slurping
at this pool, it is to slake
our own thirst; we have
claimed this land as
ten thousand flagpoles
needing no flag, but
we are gentle sceptres;
a nest dispersed and
cradling paper wings.

this silt: our home,
where all legs hurry
as their days dry up;
this rot: our mother,
tadpole to sedge. and so
we murmur the rhythms
of frogs when our strings
are plucked by breeze;
we are instrument and stave,
a hymn to this, our year.

while some quiver at our spears
lancing air, we know
enough to stake
this tent of water till
the border nears. there,
we open the ground,
let the water through
unfiltered; there is
nothing left to fear.

Ben Walter

'Sedgeland Nation' first appeared in 'Poets and Painters: Celebrating the Big Punchbowl'.

Ben Walter

Ben Walter

Ben Walter’s poetry, fiction, and essays have been widely published in Australian journals, including Meanjin, Island, Southerly, and The Lifted Brow. His début novel manuscript was the winner of the people’s choice category in the 2017 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes. He won the 2016 John Shaw Neilson Poetry Award, and was runner-up in Overland’s VU Short Story Prize. His latest book is Conglomerate, published as part of the Lost Rocks series.

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