South East

John Hawke

 

Lightning signs

with a simple cross,

with the swiftness of grasslands

swindled for quarry,

 

for a beach of burning river sand

hatched by ophidian shadows,

a glanced lizard scudding

on the prismatic surface of water tension,

 

for the clean face of a wave

thickening with blackness of dolphins.

 

Wet money gurgles in a swamp

and the oligarch’s easement is guaranteed,

a hireling paid

to scrape and oil his armoury.

 

Fields of white stubble await the razor’s

grin, the ingress of blighted spirits,

a charring smoulder that reveals

dripping stalagmites of morgue,

 

dirt bikes yawing on the switchback

precipice past Turnaround Road,

all the young dudes on Maybe Street

Bombala,

taloned logging trucks.

 

John Hawke is a Senior Lecturer in literary studies at Monash University. His volume of poetry, Aurelia (Cordite Books), was recently awarded the 2015 Anne Elder prize.

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