Mount Elephant

Rose Lucas

 

Djerrinallum

 

Late afternoon light spills

gentle

across your swaying flank –

crouched and somnolent on basalt plains –

stroking you into lengthening shadows, still heady

with the perfume of summer grasses;

 

The bleached yellow smoothness of your cauled hump

drapes

a membrane over what has gone before –

 

distant explosions,

the earth itself on fire,

the molten surge that tore your lip

[pressure, pressing up]

then pouring down

that wide gold-vermillion road and

out into the cooling night, its

open fields –

 

 

Tonight, dust and grass seeds gust and

settle;

sea swallows rise like prayers and

magpies try their notes into the gathering dusk:

 

 

Out of sight,

earth turns and groans,

cracks and heaves –  and still

we ride her

always too confident

into an opening dark.

 

 

Rose Lucas is a Melbourne poet and academic. Her first collection, Even in the Dark (UWAP 2013) won the Mary Gilmore Award; her second collection, Unexpected Clearing was published 2016 (UWAP). She is currently completing her third collection This Shuttered Eye.

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