Bush week in my tin kingdom

Bushman at sunset

in my tin kingdom



   hours are always undecided 

they tug each way and I obey 

     rule of thumb and 


                                      kingdom is of instances 

points of vantage            it's half sky 

pale with revolution      


rattle of paws and that's heaven climbing 

gives me the glint inside   


as wattle to the sunrise raw 

coin of the realm twice bitten 


trials are what made us       led us to here 


summer was listless        shine come off the shed 

                                    best for lemons to brighten 




everything rounds –  vines tug clouds down thirsty 


ambition of spider joins sides of the track 


snout at ground never seen     but you'll note mornings


we hear the ironbark drinking – thief of soil it is 

bringer of lightning afloat 

as if a tree of tin 




it's bush week          


here come the other paws of track 


smell rat where it stopped 


at thunder's beck bring washing in 

make kindling sure


weather is coming in my tin kingdom 

a needle points the way 




suffer the meek who come into my trap 

and suffer ones whom I despatch 


     make tinsel of the tripping light 

       blind mice won't scuttle now 


they're in the walls or proverb drowned 

       Lord make their sleep sound 




hills of it home rolling          the radar lies under the spell          


my will be done             things take forever


how weeds rise 


it's by believing           so festoon

     the lotus like gilt frippery 


set paddling pond 

    air flimsiest for embassy 


       all of heaven's in 




everything green wants up 


     a drought and you 

position the head right under the tap 


ancient propellors over the land 

guess who cast them?


this is the month of Sundays 




where rain was              all leaning low 


a curse of course 

a bushman's blow 




swamps run themselves           my enemies scatter

antechinus are a ledger loss

the wallabies of sunshine come 

red necked                for something sweet     

in timber ruins


valley step lightly             blow your own house down 




tin thistles we mow             whistling up 


note kangaroo in the moon 


kingfishing      whipbirds          fronds  through the boards 

            and the bunion glows 


clean clouds show the blue       chip trucks in their twilight 


    flies in windows              aches with you 




and a stretch 

            spring is such 


my kingdom       'tis of tin I sing        


a web like wings    caught sun a shimmer 


we'll take a tune from the road




with chorus of falling       tin hat and trench tremble       


far far twinkle we salute           sometimes a single star shows       




eat me and drink me       see how mean I grow        for a need how low

I take a bow                proscenium narrows         tin cup on the street    


to hollow applause         village of me in raintapping tin




in creekspeak frondfall 

insects see themselves writ large 


everyone here born yesterday 

still knowing where to go 




a bird won't learn          already has a fair idea  


clouds my proud colour       cannot be helped 


pang of the place  is chime with the scythe


shy twice of conquest  


sat among the roots of the creek      each to its tangle 

not knowing where the eye goes, why 




       best not seeing through the trees 


last gold of the kingdom       west with the hours           


past yellow grey day fades


everything goes a sort of dull silver          and I go in


shadows fall to their work 

     of making all secret again


Kit Kelen

Kit Kelen is an Australian poet who teaches Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Macau. His most recent poetry collection is China Years – New and Selected Poems (ASM Macao). He is editor of the new cross-arts international on-line journal the wonderbook and Literary Editor for Postcolonial Text.

Stockman image by Shutterstock.

Topic tags: Kit Kelen, poetry, drought, outback, bushman



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