Social order of wallabies

1 Comment


Demurely, Bruny

Brunette or shocking white, these wallabies
have their own special nook nearby,
under that blackwood.
                    Why just there,
I ask myself: no particular foliage
has given a meaning to the spot.

Something about bone-dry shadow under those boughs
appears to murmur clan or family. Yes,
I know that sounds kind of patronising,
but when these animals go through their routines
we can see a social order clear as day.

First, and utterly visible, there's
the milkwhite mother with joey in pouch,
moth-brown in hue, as are all
the rest of this little clan, one of them plainly
a mum too, with her teenager.

Some littoral nights, three tidy wallabies
sleep beside Blanche under the darksome tree,
loitering there — if we don't jerk into view.
Suddenness sends them bounding off downhill,
except for the white one.
                        Yes, she's at home.

You could say she's got the game by the balls,
a calming mother, white as vanilla snow.


Chris Wallace-CrabbeChris Wallace-Crabbe is an Australian poet and emeritus professor in the Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.

Topic tags: poetry, Chris Wallace-Crabbe



submit a comment

Existing comments

wow, wonderful & whizzo.
Pam | 12 June 2016

Similar Articles

Miles Davis drama diminishes domestic abuse

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 17 June 2016

In one scene, as Taylor and Davis argue, the dialogue comes down and the score comes up; her voice is literally taken from her. When Davis then physically assaults her, the message is clear: his music and his violence are notches on the same spectrum. This conflation of creativity with destructiveness is a typical error of mainstream biopics about great artists who were not nice people. Yet applied in the context of spousal abuse it is not only specious but ethically dubious, even dangerous.


Angst and insecurity in public school battle of wills

  • Tim Kroenert
  • 09 June 2016

Vice-principal Rickard claims the credit for having lifting the status of the once struggling public school, and sees in the smart but troubled new student Mark both the potential to do well and a danger to his own legacy. For his own part Mark, who was previously kicked out of the private school to which he had earned a scholarship, sees in Rickard a misguided do-gooder and, later, something a little more dangerous: an ambitious man whose ego is the flipside of insecurity.


We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review