Salt Wind Salt War

Julie Maclean


As cumuli mass in platoons

over Tribulation

they strike me as bones of a whale


but what they are for real

are supplicant fingers of pure palm

tumbled by the muscle of a cyclone


Fronds shudder and click

like pelican beaks

in times of famine

tearing breasts open

to feed chicks

straight from the heart     pure blood

leaving stigmata

on parchment feather


In drought they quietly

pile the dead for shade

roll eggs into death cairns—

little abortions cloud about

skirts of Kati Thanda—Lake Eyre


not here     where death comes in all weathers

peace time rare as ambergris



Julie Maclean is the author of four poetry collections and an e-chapbook. Her poems, fiction and reviews appear in local and international journals and anthologies like The Best Australian Poetry and Poetry (Chicago). She lives in Torquay.

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