stanwell tops
Poetry Prize

Stanwell Tops

We shake off the engine echo, dopplering
Over cliffs and shoals of glossy cloud

Where fly-suited radicals uplift
From wild Kombis to the hydrosphere

Slung in air as thick as Liquid Nails
Leaching out of seams of distant ice

The yellow light a horizontal knife
Blunted on an algal bloom, the reef weed

Rolled up like a finger of tobacco
In a backed-up gutter, we stop to watch

Mazarine blues wash the windscreen
Down in rimy penstrokes, hieroglyphic

Screams or dreamy helices – The end
Is near, the end! – descend the mauve

Ecliptic. One comes thru the skylight
Of our noncanopic wagon, a blanketfall

He says to drive, Crocs up on the dash
The whole panoptic world gone black

A groaning fissure widens in the cityself
Open road and gutterfingers on the wheel

He whispers: All of us are seachangers
But some of us are serious.

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Mitchell Welch is a writer, editor and poet. Originally from Brisbane, Mitchell now lives in Melbourne where he is writing a novel and working as a cemetery administrator. In 2015, he won the Fair Australia Prize – Poetry. He volunteers for Overland as an ongoing poetry reader.

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