Wind shadow

Terra incognita transfers across a plain,
a wing blends the graces, tarmacs, macadam,
concrete being so concrete, the tar-sick travel.
And hills make effort, rock, shrug, years of it,
as now we turn between cities.

Traction in floodwater, levels, blue slate,
trees, red hollow, millennia forms feral,
forms survival, trail of goats, their black edges,
hesitation on the road, emu too, scrabble, kangaroo
switch to flight, twenty-one birds of prey, without prey,
dwelling along bright white civilised lines,
carrion mess, moon, and milky way, brutal shoulder,
bloody, in wind, in shadow, uncertainty, a kind of
thinking, all there, no matter what you dream,
how uncomfortable, this is where it happens, this is
where it passes, a thunderclap, a creek bed,
falling branch.

‘Return to find a river,’ to be faceless, this once,
off the grid, no identity, no thought but in itself,
going out of no paradise, ‘where does memory live?’

To hear crows, thoughts pass, ‘you blew it’, the pace,
hurry days, in skirl, in concentration, ‘return to
the living body’, let the nothingness enter,
keep swinging in a body, your own laboratory,
work, push, and don’t push, off centre, centre.

Smell grass, cow pats, new asphalt, let’s be doing.

Jill Jones

Jill Jones lives and works on unceded Kaurna land. Her latest book is Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. Her work is widely published in Australia, Canada, Ireland, NZ, Singapore, Sweden, UK, and USA and has been translated into a number of languages. She has worked as an academic, arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.

More by Jill Jones ›

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