Published in Overland Issue 211 Winter 2013 Uncategorized The swallows in Saint Peter’s Square Luke Whitington The swallows refuse to assist My eye’s dismissal, tip toeing in the air Like the minnows, suspended in the stream Of the moment, they hover then let go And descend to slowly rise again, no flying monk Could pull and allow his bells to topple Roll over so eloquently as these unconscious ballerinas of the air. The priests that flow in pairs from St Peters sway out across the square And hardly lift their heads toward these tiny pendulums of flight They grip their rosaries against the risk of an uncertain sky And turn down the avenue in files; fluttering rags of darkness toward approaching night. And as always I remain in this apricot-smudged square of Rome And love to watch this autumnal show, the departure of the swallows Signalled by their silent play, my eyes a little saddened Want their farewell to be over quickly, my mind tucking away their salutations But my heart tugs against this dismissal, hypnotised By this continual swinging rhythm, a serenade to autumn A flock of birds’ last ballet in the changing rusts of light Through a crowded gateway, time threaded for the traveller’s eyes. Luke Whitington Luke Whitington lives in Sydney and Canberra. He has been published in journals and newspapers in Ireland and Australia. More by Luke Whitington Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 2 December 20222 December 2022 The university In search of lost bargains: An interview with Scott Fitzgerald, Ryan Mead-Hunter and Francis Russell of the Bargain Hunters podcast Scott Robinson and Danni McGrath We discovered Bargain Hunters: The Curtin NTEU EBA Podcast as our own university, Monash, and the local branch of the NTEU) enter their own bargaining round. After years of workers bearing the burden of rapid COVID changes, cost of living pressures, overwork and decades of growing job insecurity, this bargaining round feels different: an opportunity for workers to articulate a vision of the university against the neoliberalised, corporate managerialism that dominates the sector and most workplaces in the country. First published in Overland Issue 228 1 December 20221 December 2022 Reviews Calling the racist a racist: Janaka Malwatta’s blackbirds don’t mate with starlings John Kinsella Malwatta is a skilled and motivated user of tone and tonality in expression, and he shifts between perpetrator and victim with a disturbing but powerful ease: we hear the racists in the hospital, we hear them at the barbecue, and we hear the racism coming from the mouths of white leaders and dissemblers.