States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘Perenjori Morning’ by Graham Kershaw

Such a hollowness grows beneath us
such an undermining,
such a heavy, unwelcome silence
that we can no longer touch
this happy or unhappy life,
this grass, these children, this field of light,
fly as we might each fortnight
the surfaces lose value
– window, fence, city, street –
as we become beasts, turned inside out
under the fluorescent pool table light,
all our works futile
tantrums and bullying,
blood less than beer,
sour and dead in the mouth,
burnt metal in the mind,
and the sunlit plains, from altitude,
are a cold fluorescence over flat grey felt
on a beer-stained gaming table
and night before we fly in
and the day we fly out, the big picture is,
we seem to have been anointed
scourges of the earth, predators
snatching at harmonies
we can never grasp,
could never endure
deferment to,
as if watching this life
forever from some remove,
a whistling kite,
stringing together bare parishes
with insatiable searching,
motionless flight.


Graham Kershaw