States of Poetry WA
Casuarina leaves disable the dog.
He halts on the track ahead, scratches,
then sits and sulks, his undercarriage
a matt of clinging tendrils.
My hands prickle with casuarina scales
so small they're almost unseen,
but my palms know they're there
and the dog does, too, his eyes accusing.
The she-oaks shouldn't have been a surprise,
but were. We came up ...
They toll hours. I trace the peak and trough of raven-call
through brick veneer walls to the hospital – an hour away –
with every throaty rattle, to my Aunt, morphine
pump filtering sleep. She's comfortable, her nurses say.
Housebound with telephone, I'm waiting, listening
for whispering oxygen, for rattle-claws on tiles,
black birds stalking roofs of this cind ...
Evening, at the edge of the reef
a ghost net snags my fishing line.
Lead-core line is made to last and often
braided round plastic craypots tumbling
from West Coast to Madagascar
to shroud the coastline over there.
I write my dead friend's name in foam,
watch a wave rush it away.
In another's name a rose adrift
surfs an off-shore rip away
I drive in on Daylight Saving Time
with a pale, fat moon rising
over the Moresby Ranges.
New subdivision: Ocean Heights Estate?
It looks like Sandcastle Land.
limestone-terraced into sharp ledges:
high-priced real estate
perched at weed-wreathed ocean edge
awaiting global warming.
Blowouts hiberna ...
The river has always
sat in front of me,
mud between toes
shooting down grassy
hills on cardboard. My
brother dragged a sheep
behind a canoe
to the other side,
and painted a warning
on his rose canvas
when my sister drowned.
She was throwing rocks
Dog barks heard from the kitchen.
Mum ran screaming up
To read a landscape by another landscape;
Valley cloud reveals altitude.
To read the landscape visits the ego
That prevents a proper reading.
To this landscape, the circular fireplace
And a straight trunk – xanthorrhoeas present.
To read this landscape to the tune of other words,
As moisture moves us, is us, drowns us.
To read the landscape ...
Part of the river begins here, car carcasses
Filter run-off, houses fenced off
A two foot foam toy stealth bomber
Discarded in the buffalo – 'the F27C
Striker Brushless' neglected, ignored.
Broken winged, landlocked like concrete islands.
Part of the river begins here,
Sweet mud smell, the hill you slide down
On tin, the old man keen to shoot to shoo ...
grasses sweep grooves in sand, the way streams forge sweeps in earth;
their soft brown tips dangle, like me, the narcissist,
searching for recognition, the call and response
the topographic certainty, the black and white pinions.
cloud gaps are light patch are sunglasses on.
loose rock and lost watch – the alpine flowers dry,
the travelling snow is sliced by skis ...
I walk to the river,
I am searching,
I am searching for a jar of leeches.
In the distance I see something flashing
so I head toward it.
As I come closer I see
it's a mirror dangling from a tree,
and beneath it, a table with six sealed jars.
I open a jar, stick my finger inside
pull it out –
blood slides down my arm.
I feel the sh ...
A culture worth loving
A culture worth fighting for
A culture worthy of being loved
Why tell me I don't need it?
Why tell me I can't need it?
Why tell me I can't love it?
Why tell me it's not worth fighting for?
Why tell me it's not worthy of love?
I love it – I laugh for it
I stress for it – I cry fo ...