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That pastoral edge

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Selected poems

 

Our testimony

 

                                                Only

                                                because

                                                these

                                                random

                                                bold

                                                friends

                                                can

 

                                                have

                                                endured

                                                worldcaust

                                                poetry

                                                will

                                                prevent

                                                extinction

                                               

                                                despite

                                                those

                                                bodily

                                                millions

                                                missingly

                                                rubbed

                                                out

 

                                                Only

                                                because

                                                scattery

                                                scribbled

                                                lines

                                                persist

                                                yes

 

                                                we

                                                triumph

                                               

                          

That pastoral edge

 

From just up here

on the lip of mountain mileage

that pooling river mouth below, half salt but

also hill-fresh, could seem a lagoon.

 

On its low point, surmounting

asphalt and breaking waters

sits the verandaed pub, a focus once

of holiday shorescape.

 

During the native forest fires

decades of my sap ago,

bluegum branches crackled and roared:

like really bad melodrama.

 

Behind my previous bay,

buried under musk and rot, there lie

quaint remainders of

an old woodcutters’ railway,

 

little more now

than a tangled indentation.

This aromatic forest can

just about swallow anything

 

but holidays — and December

will flaunt over all that again.

Kids will arrive at our sea-green seaside,

garrulous as galahs.

 

Yes these are our saved summers,

treetops noisy as perching galahs

and small clouds taking it easy.

No dark fin offshore today

 

by the grace of quaint Santa, who's

hot though, in his whiskers.

Is that no more than a heap of his own

red clobber on the beach?

 

 


Chris Wallace-Crabbe is a Melbourne poet. His 
latest books are Rondo (London: Carcanet) and My Feet Are Hungry (Sydney: Pitt Street Poets)

.Main image: Australian rainforest (Lisa Pratley/Pixabay)

Topic tags: Chris Wallace-Crabbe, poetry

 

 

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Existing comments

"Our testimony's" economical form most aptly displays the comparative fragility of language in the face of barbaric hostility hell-bent on extinction ("worldcaust") and, simultaneously, their hope-inspiring resilience. Thank you, Chris.


John RD | 05 March 2020  

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