Landscape photographs from Black Saturday by John Gollings
Fremantle Arts Centre, July 2015.
enter a room and find stripes of night on each of the walls
pines have been hushed
black trunks block the light sky
and underfoot the ash is soft, waiting for wind
there can ...
– Dwerda Weelardinup
The whistle of the djidi-djidi on the army tank
slices the evening grey. Someone
is walking their dog. I am walking me
around this once defensive hill.
Gun House, Rifle Cottage. Cantonment.
Embers of a campfire through the scrub.
Quarried and tunnelled
– gradient constantly resettled.
At the Gunners ...
– photograph 1964.
at the bridal table
in front of Mill Hall stage
she is small
and tight lipped flowers
from somebody’s garden
in a bucket behind her head
the shell of her jacket
as though she has been
her chest an empty cavity
all that sheen –
damask on the table ...
your face, pink, lit like we’d never seen it
when your hands at your shoulders met his
for the Pride of Erin
the ease of your gliding
for the three-four Modern Waltz
that marquisite brooch on the bodice
of your teal best dress
your stepping in perfect union on the dance flo ...
For my mother
The young men,
friends of our middle one,
camp nights in your bed.
Some leave it with hospital corners,
some leave it like a lair to revisit
and some make cocoons on top.
In most cases
they are shaping up.
On kitchen raids
they all report sound sleep
and I wonder what it is
that breaches their dreams
as t ...
I go to the local library
and do not take out
the book I find,
this one or that one first,
Outside beside my car
sits a strange chrome and vinyl seat,
part of a vanity set,
stranded, hieratic, ruined,
like the beautiful straight-backed
low seated chair-people
The old cat and dog
now sleep in our room
in an uneasy truce
between the floor and bed.
It is as if they are not sure
the house exists
once we no longer light it
or move about it,
once we lie down
in agreement it is night.
It’s come to sit on my chest,
their Stilnox camaraderie,
and when I wake in snatches
I have thought differe ...
The girl on a rug with a cat
is an entirely decorative proposition.
She curls, the cat curls, even the rug
displays some notion of this movement
with its diverting curlicues.
Life, too, is making a start inside the girl
although she cannot know this right now.
Some contract with another is being made,
even as we speak, on the rug with the cat beside her.< ...
I lie on the couch
like a beaten dog
as Philip Mould advances
on his latest art forensics
and there are these absolutely
free and liberated daubs
of greens and browns
in close-up on the screen.
They are of the earth
in a surprising and counter way
to all that sateen, country houses,
rich people by the yard.
And from my beaten dog pose< ...
Bold shades of autumn leaf – or blazing embers’ light,
bright to extinguished, as if fires set
in hearths huddled closely in the dirt were offset
by pallid oceans with their artificial light.
Are the colours fire-signals to a planetary eye
that, like Atlas, feels the weight of earth,