States of Poetry 2016 - TAS | 'Attack' by Tim Thorne



And it is the act, the will
channeled through fibre to impact;
this is history as king hit.
Imagine your own bedroom as nullius,
adding extra dizziness to any fall.

If pain, as is said, cannot be remembered,
only the having been hurt,
then where does the pain belong
that comes out of the blue ocean
into a void? History as bruise?

Smashed capillaries will water the seed
of a dark plant for generations.
Behind the blow there is no reaching,
no plan. It is the immediacy,
the confined 'now', that is worse than the strength.

When the Age of Enlightenment
needs a burglar's flashlight and even then
can't see the future or the long, long past,
whose role is it to ask the questions?
Whose answers are to be heard?

All that can be known is the instant
of impact, the non-dimensional point,
and it is on this absence, out of it
the attempt was made to build a nation.
Jesus and the three little pigs knew better.

Tim Thorne

Tim Thorne

Tim Thorne

Tim Thorne won the William Baylebridge Award in 2007, the Christopher Brennan Award in 2012, and the Gwen Harwood Prize in 2014. The latest of his fourteen collections of poetry is The Unspeak Poems and other verses (Walleah Press, 2014). He inaugurated and, for seventeen years directed, the Tasmanian Poetry Festival.

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.