After yet another warning …

[Image: Auge im Himmel/Eye in the Sky, by Loeser]. There is a poem of mine at latest Cordite poetry magazine online edition Earth, selected by Maria Takolander and available here

Otherwise, in wrong, left-justified lineation and with no stanza breaks as enforced by WordPress, here below, but I do recommend reading the correct version via the above link to Cordite):

After yet another warning from scientists about the impending end of the world

Let’s look around the place, here, this farmlet,

southern highlands, late October in a year records are again broken.

I still don’t understand it. Even as I prattle on to visitors

of its few successes, many failures. Can I really see it?

Always that film of ideas, memories, comparing, imagining, like veils of mists

coming up from Bundanoon’s deep gorges, channelling the Tasman

up through sandstone ravine funnels hitting high coolth

to merrymake mushrooms, mood magic, droplet cobwebs, bee diseases.

Mostly though, wheeling skyscapes pushed by westerlies

from sandy ebbtide cirrus to rolling king-tides of cumulus

backlit by sunsets like last sputterings of some senescing fire somewhere

invisible just over the horizon blocked by tangents of trees.

Night tends to fall like a sentence, stars its letters

spelling patterns we no longer see. How to explain this longing

for something else? Something not to be measured in algorithms,

there and not there, central and peripheral, a bend in unbeing

bending you into Is. The Southern Cross wheels yet is always going south.

Although the buddleias have unbloomed, woodwhites, jezebels

still jinx and suck. Our slow-dying dog Billy stumbles in to beg for food,

his remaining passion as his legs give way, lungs rasp

louder towards some crescendo-diminuendo I am avoiding. Ask not

for whom the bowl empties, it empties for thee.

Soundscapes around here always mix machine, mind and wild,

the steady techno of swamp frog, dull sigh of plane or train

receding into the comforting abstractions of distance.

Magpies, ravens chase away raptors and are praised daily

in the rabbits’ subterranean temples. One rifle blast and I can wait

at least twenty minutes before another whiskers the air.

It would be nice to say these rodent moon-makers were my roshis

in patience and detachment from headcount and slow-cooked stew.

Farming is about killing things. Killing ancestors that made us.

Some say the expiation comes from preparing the food

with heart, mind in the right place. I wouldn’t bet on it.

Apparently some Buddhist cold-climate carnivores

foist the karma onto the man with gun and knife. No one’s perfect.

I used to only eat meat I’d killed, riding out the sheep’s

spurting spasms after I’d slit its throat. Getting too old for that, so now

it’s also others’ organic because it builds the soil. But who knows.

Vegan seems cleaner, thus suspect, and I’d miss the bloody mystery

of dark resurrection and dying-to-live.

This spring, with days of welcome wind-shifting curtains of drizzle

heading off another record drought, there’ve been more small birds.

Waves of yellow-rumped thornbills seem to share the insected grass,

trunks and air with red-browed firetails, the odd restless flycatcher

outwinging their flanks. For the first time variegated fairy wren,

spotted pardalote have sat at our sill demanding entrance

to our forbidden cave. May the tiny star-speckled wonders of their eggs

rest safe some place unknown to the winged, sharp-beaked

brains gracing the sleek black shoulders of corvids and butcher birds.

How much longer before the dark angel of blindness

touches my maculate eyes with his immaculate feather? I can feel him

shuffling in the wings. Will I navigate the final times

in the new tough light of sound, sense and senseless,

the metallic whir of robotic drones replace the oneiric buzzing of bees?

~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on March 8, 2020.

6 Responses to “After yet another warning …”

  1. Lovely piece Peter and congrats on the Cordite publication. Such a strong sense of place melding with the eternal and personal – I’ll re-read this just for pleasure.

  2. Love this Peter….and then proceeded to be immersed in the Cordite site…

  3. fine words to help smooth the edges. I’ll harvest a deer along with berries and garlic. I guess it’s organic?

  4. Thanks Kristi. Yep Cordite gives a good notion of what’s being written in Oz poetry at the moment …

  5. Thanks Dave, yum fresh venison with garlic and berries, fantastic. Should I bring some wine or are we going mountain stream water?

  6. Thanks for the comment Peter, much appreciated.

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