Storms rushing down from Wongan Hills —
it’s imperative to clear the gutters,
drain the trap after such a stressed dry.
Even now, it’s forty-three centigrade.
So, I go out, and the trap yields only
a trickle, and inland thornbills are anxious,
hopping near my feet, and I know I must
raise the lantern of my blood onto the trestle
to empty the gutters of dry accumulations,
under a blunt, brutal sky of prophecy
for all that’s gone down in this region of late,
the fewer trees to take up the slack,
the fewer cockatoos to short-circuit a rampant
craving for electricity, the burning-up of our
fossil identity, our ancient selves, our interiors.
And in the anterior world I rise up, and thunder
just far enough away to make the act not quite
foolhardy, though as I scoop the leafage
and scatter it to the dirt below, I wonder
if this tempting of lightning — a serial encounter
in parallel circuit — might actually be my last.
I hurry the job, removing feathers of five species —
thornbill, ‘28’ parrot, magpie, robin, and weebill —
as I go, plus the down of fledglings I can’t identify,
and the air thickens and simmers and the leaves
I hook out are covered in arrays of wasp galls
that have burst open, dried in their moment
of abjection — think the pods from the Alien films,
especially as earlier today John Hurt passed away
and the alien that burst from his chest knows its DNA
is willed-on by the greed and corruption of the industrial-
military complex — cometh the man cometh the hour;
though far more sensitive analogies are forgotten
with the storm-threat, with thunder short-fused.
I know I must descend before it’s too late, pondering
my relationship with this space on the radar,
and all I have seen and all I have talked through
with friends and family, have gestated deep
inside an electrified psyche bamboozled by static,
the dry about to be broken, ruthlessly shattered.