Type
Poetry

At Heatherlie Quarry

by the track,
everlastings in bloom; paper-fine heads
            that vandals cut for vased reverie.
            no heather here, only wildflowers white,
                        yellow, pinks. everywhere.

today there is no stonemason
only stonemusing, all in a day’s labour.
            I find myself gariwording
            a kind of “I woz ’ere 2011”
                        graffiti as old-fashioned texting
                        marking one’s own
            parking the national poetics
            in sleight colonial fashion.

            what other histories striate here
            everlongingly? land removal &
razed ken notwithstanding. how to read
dys-scriptively, query the quarry
            as industrial site or tourist point,
            the perfunctory consume & abuse
                        of sublimity ungirded.

this poem as Babel enfant reconstructs
a monument, stories the stone
            once transported to Melbourne
            to support State Library sophistries. surplus slabs left
                        scarred & abandoned. forms of the past handed on
                        treasured extract (speaks volumes).

around stark mining huts, three children
hide & seek, a different game
                        (foxes now baited here)
            (try to) pull the chain
            of the old trolley rusted on broken lines.
futuring hands find only toy forms
& will not remember this day. except
            for three take-home everlastings:
            forever keepsakes?

Ann Vickery is the author of Leaving Lines of Gender: A Feminist Genealogy of Language Writing and Stressing the Modern: Cultural Politics in Australian Women’s Poetry. She is contributing editor of the online journal, Jacket2, and a past editor-in-chief of the online journal, HOW2.
© Ann Vickery
Overland 204-spring 2011, p. 114

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Anny Vickery teaches at Deakin University. She is the author of Leaving Lines of Gender: A Feminist Genealogy of Language Writing and Stressing the Modern: Cultural Politics in Australian Women’s Poetry. She is also co-author of The Intimate Archive: Journeys through Private Papers and co-editor of Manifesting Australian Literary Feminisms: Nexus and Faultlines. She has published poetry in a range of national and international journals.

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