102439350_7e55495048_z
Type
Poetry

Old growth / High definition

tiny lantana clots burning in jam jars light the way
through the scrub / dragging a television by its rubbery grey power cord,
screen down, leaf litter churns and parts, ripping the scab off top soil,
a damp cut in the forest floor doesn’t appear in high definition
and will heal beneath the din of galahparty and breeze,
we push the heavy nonflatscreen television inside a hollow tree,
moths clink the flame jars / eddying low, the moon is where we most expect it,
there will never be an apocalypse, you say, thumbing a quartz vein
in a pebble, tucking the power cord in, there’s already been one
and here’s a tree who’s seen thylacines and war, but never
billboard shadows chucked on streams of traffic
blocking the sun this way, there will never be an apocalypse, you say,
we already had one and this is where we live now / in the city, a lever is pulled
and a crane’s arm slaps the sky, lowers concrete blocks

into the ground, nearby the last tooth in an escalator
disappears into a food court floor / our backs hurt,
televisions are heavy business, you touch your shoulder with your ear,
your clicking bones sing out / i crack my fingers we agree
we’re at once polished and putrid /  a new step emerges atop an escalatorcase
while moonshine silvers the bark of this hollow tree, which will grow
to accommodate the television / we shouldn’t be here, you say,
the hollow tree will grow through the television, vine and copper tendrils
entangled for ages, even after the surf stacks up and Tasmania floods
or else it rise out of the sea and frisbee off into space, grazing the cheek of the moon
on its way out / here’s old growth that hasn’t seen powerlines shoot electricity
to places we’ll never go, its ancestors dead in the walls of whalers’ huts,
here’s a tree while we wait for the fire to unclot the lantana
and try to think of something cool to say / here’s a tree

 

 

Image: ‘Giant cranes’ / Xymox

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

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Dan Hogan is a writer and teacher whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Lifted Brow, Scum Mag, Sydney Morning Herald and Overland, among others. Dan is the director of the independent literary organisation, Subbed In. They can be found on twitter @packetofchips.

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