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 was born in Sydney and has lived in Adelaide since 2008. Recent books include Wild Curious Air, A History Of What I’ll Become, Viva the Real, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Poetry and the 2020 John Bray Award, and Brink. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. Her work has been translated into Chinese, French, Italian, Czech, Macedonian and Spanish.

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