Reading the (in)land

Very rough sketch of ‘this windy paddock’

Poetry for the Planet: An Anthology of Imagined Futures showcases the work of 97 emerging and established poets from Australia and Aoteoroa. The section titled ‘Country — A Cautionary Tale’ concludes with this poem by Sally Denshire.

Reading the (in)land


Out back of the air bnb

you smell petrichor

on a tract of land

at the edge of the mown,

squinting at three native grasses.

You can’t look them up

because there’s no internet access

where you are.

The field of blue stretches

above a mottle of rain-clouds,

a dome over stock.

Branches of white cockatoos

scream across this undulating

regenerative farm land

in the Wymah Valley.


Driza-bone and Akubra,

literate in this landscape,

read The Land. You, however,

see this windy paddock

as bisected by metal sticks,

strands of rusty gate, wire fences,

solar array, a corrugated iron tank.

On the coast you always

sought sea-blue skyscapes,

rock pools, wet

Sclerophyll forests.


Once inland, you don’t

notice the inland ridges

tho’ they’ve been here forever.

When you do finally pause and

take in the ragged outcrops,

your eye-balls,

more accustomed to the coast,

now follow the ancient rocky faces

and you connect to the country

for the first time.


Note

Poetry for the Planet: An Anthology of Imagined Futures edited by Julia Kaylock and Denise O’Hagan and published by Litoria Press is now available from your favourite bookshop. All proceeds directed to the Conservation Foundation.


Acknowledgement

Thank you to esteemed member of Riparian, Dotti Simmons, for encouraging me to contribute to this anthology.

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