Nonhuman Practitioner Breaks With Light Verse

Michael Farrell


More important than not seeming pathetic or quaint is not

being so. We are not all mocking singers or foot-

gazing track-makers. The bush is not a cabaret. We

are on better terms with the sky than some. The

long afternoon is not for squandering in hop-hop or

chit-chit. The rhyme scheme is a more or less

elaborate garden to those of us with the concept of

garden. Long; short; major; minor: poetry is not for accumulating

in some imaginary anthology introduced by today’s Auden

To read

a tree is merely effrontery. We may turn for themes. Hunger

mating, deforestation, why not be absolutely modern? Because

history is

eons, not revolt. Mothers are never so other. The meta

may be a scrub bird. Flight! Burrowing! To not be

is a species concern. Sailing through the air, growing into

something else for a time, is not remarkable. Memory is

practice. Let pets debate whether they’re artists or not. Let

zoos truck in loads of authentic dirt to bathe in

A fig on a twig is not a poetic beginning


Michael Farrell is from Bombala on the Monaro in NSW. He has completed a PhD in Australian literature at Melbourne University. Recent publications include open sesame (Giramondo) and Long Dull Poem (Stale). He lives in Fitzroy.

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