Sky Country

Phillip Hall


for the Kulin Nation


… swept to scudding mist and manna,

to the white trunks of a slurred-over terrain,

the huge dark wing beats are a skirmish

of creation pouring out from the grey spiraling steam

as talons are thrust forward in a lunge

at ground zero before vertical recovery skids

to apex and another soaring

U-shaped dive that tears

earth by its roots, raising

a country out of a blue-smoky spray

now sweet with the scent of eucalyptus and mint:


blooming in a bowl felted and warily

watched over by another’s shallow-beating and quivering

charcoaled wings, the sinuous curves of country are cherished

in a loud descending wailing that gushes

open all the streaming waters and creatures of our time…


Phillip Hall worked for many years as a teacher of outdoor education and sport throughout regional New South Wales, Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. He now resides in Melbourne’s Sunshine where he is a passionate member of the Western Bulldogs Football Club. His publications include Sweetened in Coals and (as editor) Diwurruwurru: Poetry from the Gulf of Carpentaria. He has a poetry collection forthcoming with Canberra University’s IPSI series called Borroloola Class (due for release in September 2017), while UWAP will publish Fume in February 2018. Phillip loves to cheer.


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