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 30 March 2023 Culture RollerCoaster Tycoon and the art of niche hobbies Zac Picker As a writer, I spend too much time awake at night worrying about building an audience for my work. And yet, I spend even more time awake at night, planning my next RollerCoaster Tycoon park in my head, for an audience of the hundred-or-so RCT parkmakers I care about the most. First published in Overland Issue 228 29 March 2023 Aboriginal Australia Standing in the dawn’s new light: truth-telling for settlers Anthony Kelly There’s a paradox about being a settler in a stolen country. No matter when we arrived, we inherited the bounty of genocidal violence. Many of us are the beneficiaries of the intergenerational wealth-building that saw English, Irish and Scottish settler families grow rich on the sheep, timber, wheat and resources provided by stolen land. We have a profound responsibility to dismantle the ‘lie-telling’ because it shores up this legacy and the systems of colonial violence that continue in our lifetimes.