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Special N.02 – Poets speak up to Adani

Empty Your Eyes

by Robert Adamson


~ after Pierre Reverdy


The suffering has ended. Empty your eyes, a new era begins. Heads, once out of line, have fallen. People call from windows. Surrounded by laughter becoming noise, others call up to the windows. Animals never seen before come out form the alleys. There are broad-faced women with broad accents walking pavements, talking freely, their faces lit up, their hair undone. Sunlight, trumpets, and pianos are playing boogie. Emboldened, people smile in public places. The intact houses blink, doors swing open and somehow smile back to other houses. The banal parade floats above the ash of iron filings. A mother with a blue apron that frames her baby cheers at random, another child by her side trembles, astonished and fearful. There’s an apparition of an angel, timid and adrift in the midst of life, while rustling people gather in the square. Foreigners pass by in a group, singing under bright umbrellas, their lyrics sleek and empty. A grandfather goes about extinguishing street lamps against the coming radiance. A jazz dancer leaps out from her suitcase with an answer nobody can understand. A policeman rides his one-wheeled bike, his thighs swollen against black leggings. He circles the stragglers, until a spotlight picks up his problem. The circus of shadows moves through the jumping city as rackets break their own strings. On the far ramparts, a boy with a thousand dreams cries because he feels he is ugly.

‘Empty Your Eyes’ was previously published in Empty Your Eyes (Sydney: Vagabond Press, 2013) and Net Needle (Collingwood: Black Inc,2015), 58.

Published: August 2022
Robert Adamson

is an Australian poet and publisher.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.