Music, or a kangaroo chats about chastity

Michael Farrell


    In the harsh noon the bellbird sounds its chastest note. Note

 how ants sleep,

and locusts sleep: when they wake they forget what

    they wanted to give themselves

 to. Behave as in an imaginary library,

one that you carry through the bush, collecting overdue loans

    with a beneficent

 smile, and nodding at the phrase ‘search terms’. You

know what’s searched most. There

    may be no god, nor money either.

 Yet we work for both sunup till down. Some trace it back

to St Augustine,

    but that’s hardly necessary (for us). You are one, and

 will be two soon enough. There

are young red bucks, there are golden

    does, there are sex-doves under the mistletoe. I call them hornets,

 poets, singers

of naught. It’s a popular vein. ‘Get your thighs dirty.’

    You understand your own body’s

 music, not the rudeness of that company.


Michael Farrell has edited a feature for ecopoetics journal. He researches unsettled ecologies in Australian poetry. An article on Christopher Brennan can be read here: Michael’s recent books are open sesame (Giramondo) and enjambment sisters present (Black Rider).

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