Sunday, October 4, 2009

a cover

from fragments towards the single man's hut

the temple is out of doors
through the glass gone

just as the sky begins to catch
in power lines
holding the mirror at angles

from fragments towards the single man's hut

can’t see much at first
the bush to be lost in
just there

going out to work the simple kit of colours
and in the paws
this unnatural white
which has to hold the track
bring back
the randomness of all en route
as if there were a rhyme

from fragments towards the single man's hut

in whip bird gully
lantana like a Red Sea parted

from fragments towards the single man's hut

it’s like learning to read
daylight does blue of this
deeper than all others till

cattle square the sunning
flow as bid by fences, gates

from fragments towards the single man's hut

then a voice like the radio

tracks in all dimensions here
wherever you look or can’t
over and under and many long left
some called and never answered

where rain fell
run of the ridge down
stray among boulders
scree, leaf slippage

from fragments towards the single man's hut

I am called to the conversation
voices all ways
never a word

sweat of the climb
up to a river vantage in rocks
and hear the bush working
rattle and scrape the wind over all

from fragments towards the single man's hut

deep in the undergrowth

edit the world open on
the one gate out beyond
and fill the book with
the smell of the bush
or that crackling sound of
mammals in their anonymous labour

from fragments towards the single man's hut

shadows and grass spun
minute by minute
remembering to look up

from fragments towards the single man's hut

and sometimes scratch
till one gets to the skin
or day goes grey then night

tumbles to it for once and for all
and goes to ground
tucks in the dark
a secret safely gone

from fragments towards the single man's hut

as clouds of heights hues hunches
head for their last shape
still pink to an edge
clouds the ridge hides
and those God’s country diagonals
as if the avatar walked off
in the breeze hat

from fragments towards the single man's hut

bend and stretch with the river
coming home
a study of dust in the last rays
the herringbone grey
the feather stipple

mad dash to the first position
and it will be my waking branch
ahead of me this flight

from fragments towards the single man's hut

and in the paddock of light lasting
a certain wisp of yours I’ve caught
oh I won’t dare the colour
but the rabbit’s already up in the moon

from fragments towards the single man's hut


birds are rewriting the map
taking their measurements
checking again

push off the track
shaped to the tune of paws

push the day to its ends
the sunglance on it last

we coincide with the river
just when the river runs gold

from fragments towards the single man's hut


in the page
the glitter of eyes
cast to it
the years of seeing
worn from sight

we only draw lines
we only connect
this is how we’re described

a cattle moan of paddocks
or the wind could be a car

bend of the river with trees and dusk sky

cliff climbs out of the sun
moss against it
angles of bark
walls brush

clouds once were the fastest thing

shadows and grass spun
wings fall like leaves
when they so will
air at an angle to tilt

dreaming clouds

twigs of all ages
lapping the far shore
clouds the ridge hides
pink to an edge

for their final shape


two songs:

bundanong’s song

kangaroos jump through the fences at Bundanon
you turn around and when you look back the roos are gone

Arthur Boyd painting in his studio at Bundanon
he gave it to the nation and that’s how come I can sing this song

kookaburras laugh their heads off at Bundanon
they look pretty silly flying around with no heads on

toss up my hat cause I’m so happy at Bundanon
you can see me running down the hill to the river
chasing it along

kitten in pyjamas

for children and adults

looked in my bedroom and what did I see?
there was a kitten in pyjamas looking back at me
she was a kitten in pjyamas
she was a kitten in pjyamas
a kitten in pjyamas
and you know what I mean!

there’s a gate out beyond all paddocks

there’s a gate out beyond all paddocks

set that way portentous
sun that way
like the golden ute
gone its russet run
among those swag bedraggled gods
wiping their chins with billy tea
whatever they can get their hands on

more shadows than trees

they’re out there
believe me



I remember
hitchhiking 1975
and a mean old man slowed down to leer
shouted something we couldn’t make out
and then we saw his teeth fall out

in hieroglyphics

in hieroglyphics

darker with ridges
and orange along
there’s river green
thirst slaked
great girth there
and higher
where time’s had more luck
drab camouflage draws the forces

keep on until you can read this

unnumbered fragment

unnumbered fragment

you could walk around the homestead forever –
and given certain needs for food and warmth and dreaming met –
never tire of it, never be bored –
this would be the virtue of being a ghost
and why it is worth considering

this is the land

this is the land
in me
those who could have been born here
or there
this is a past life
when I was the prince
and cockroaches came to worship

my country
the smug returning
tax me bastards now
and I will tax the land with turnings
tune words to paper
so they take to air

my anthem in a land of droppings
step where you will but beware

this is land our fathers shat –
how brave that makes me

whatever catches eye gets grip
so watch – we’re going to find a way –
that’s home
and some day when the dollar’s high
I’ll sail back there– I will

a poet’s life is full of fun
there’s time to kill
and thrill and spill

I’ll have my time with the sky