Melody Paloma


After Landscape by Martin Harrison


An afternoon slides across bitumen

you or me leaning on the window


watching hills with their skin peeled off

and a band of trucks blinking


until the vibrato of a cattle grid

and low rusted heath


three hours of pulling dust

a break at a dry riverbed


where a Rav4 has spent

maybe three days


pressed against a tree

tyres and roof racks taken


still, there are old movie tickets

and fresh bread in the boot


at the turn off is a submarine

half submerged in dirt


it might be a metaphor

but I decide then not to ask


a dead fox next to two small graves

I’ll hear about them later


the first thing you take a photograph of

is the petrol pump at the station


because all things seem intriguing

when left alone in space


up the hill I remember

to stop moving in straight lines


to find gaps between thorn

let grass break off on socks


I thought it might be nice

to read Landscape


to record it up there

on my iPhone four


a week later in Melbourne

someone tells me of rocks


with tops that burn to black

and keep their colour underneath


but I hadn’t turned them over

or held the cool inside my palm


two goats emerge

over the ridge at sunset


and face west for a while

they move away


with the shadow of a cloud

mimicking a wombat hole


paddocks that change colour

slight slopes shift to clay


and one swift strip of orange

reaching across the range.


Melody Paloma is a Melbourne-based writer currently undertaking her honours year in Creative Writing at RMIT University. Her poetry has been published in Overland, Rabbit and Voiceworks and she was recently awarded the 2014 Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets. In 2015 she received a WriCE fellowship and took part in a collaborative residency held in Vietnam. Melody is founder and editor of Dear Everybody (IG: @deareverybodycollective twitter: @deareverybody_), a creative collective facilitating collaboration and creative exchange between artists and writers.

Martin Harrison’s creative and critical work has been hugely influential for me. Martin’s work consistently engages and is bound to place; it speaks with place rather than to it, and continues to ground and encourage my own voice.

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