Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Australian Bushfires, January 2020

There is no treatment for these burns.

I woke up on Mars – by the yellow sky.
The smoke – remains of burned forest.
There is no treatment for these burns,
burns to the bone of country.

Australia’s gentle, stupid marsupials
have no answers, do not understand
the question; they approach men
for water and to do something for them.

The hunted, haunted eyes,
their singed, ragged fur,
and the dead they left behind,
mummified in the heat,
the kangaroo still standing
in death, as still as on a coin.

There is no treatment for these burns.

 

Julian O’Dea

Christmas, Australia

CHRISTMAS, AUSTRALIA

Our dry river no longer threads
the water-polished stones.

The glistening fish have slipped
into cracks like lost coins.

Gumleaves have burned
as frankincense to a sky
of one blue, unclouded eye.

Echidnas, buried, wait
to bloom like lumps of bronze
from an ancient hearth.

Julian O’Dea

Momentary

MOMENTARY

Just before dawn the roses appear
white, ghosts of the blooms I know
them to be, then blush pink as day
glows.

I catch such moments, fresh and
personal, like fish you catch on
your own hook when you are nine,
to admire the colours glistening
on the line.

Julian O’Dea

Cape Hunting Dog

Cape Hunting Dog

To gorge on flesh, to choke
and regurgitate, with squirting
blood and soft marrow down
the throat, again and again,
tooth set in jawbone driven
into bone, canine maw wet,
sticky, matted fur, tooth as
awl, bone as whetstone,
mouthfeel is all.

Julian O’Dea

Puppy

Yawning in the morning
the puppy greets the day,
wide to bite the sun like
a ball that’s now in play.
See him stand and stretch,
shaking out his fur,
a bundle of golden hay
with here and there a burr.

Julian O’Dea

Pageantry of the Australian Bush

 

Pageantry of the Australian Bush

the Papilio butterfly opens
and closes stained glass
window wings,
a living diptych

an Intellagama lizard,
“a water dragon”,
settles like rock on rock in
its banded, sedimentary skin

an echidna marches past
with desert slowness,
a phalanx of spines

scarab beetles sport bronzed
armour, elytra, and scutella …
“little shields”

birds cry out the boasts
of Greeks and Trojans
to the air

raptors, in the form of black
kites, bring Promethean
fire to the grassland,
and their prey begin to run

Julian O’Dea

SEABIRD HUNTERS

SEABIRD HUNTERS

In the Western Isles they farewell
the day last, short of warmth,
and the arable,
and even of surnames,
a smattering of island clans.

The sea hisses all night quenching
the sun, as the seabirds nestle
among rocks and grass, until the young
can fall like snow down the cliff
to settle into their own life.

Beehive dwellings of stone
have waited for the men,
who will build beehives of salted,
oily birds for sale, and read their
Gaelic bible and trust in ropes below,
lest they fall with the snow.

Julian O’Dea