Crop of NUW cover
Type
Poetry
Category
Fair Australia Prize

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near the sheep-strewn town where i was weaned,
three surnames own thousands of gum-speckled
acres. a blue-eyed blonde boy was my best mate.
the majestic  high-ceilinged homestead  always cool
in summer heat  wide hallway  cavernous pool
room  lawn tennis-court  sculpted gardens
etcetera  where he resided  stood against
the old squatters’ cottage made of mud stones
& sticks which grew into my family home.
he was  & remains a warm good-natured bloke
like his father  entitled without imperiousness.
were they better farmers, harder workers than us.
did they deserve their 4000 acres while we
warranted 40  because instead of being a WWI
infantry man inheriting a few rocky acres of land
as pension for service  my friend’s  father’s  grandfather
happened to be surveyor for Angas  one of those
serious sepia-coloured big-sideburned men
who divvied the state  giving swathes to mates
arrogantly ignoring millennia of occupation
& ensuring the deck would remain stacked
                                                                 for generations

 

 

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Tomas Lambe is a member of the dandylion collective based in Adelaide. During the 2016 Australian election campaign he wrote a political poem a day on his blog caretaker mode.

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