Published in Overland Issue 242 Autumn 2021 · Poetry Customs declaration Nicholas Powell 1 Beginning our descent with a banking turn of phrase and amusement park views. Arm doors, arm holes. Jingoistic chit-chat in the fouled cabin air. Exiting Economy through the refuse of Business: eye-masks and fine print. Leaf-blowers on Lime St, ear-splitting beautification and warship doorstop. Great lengths to salvage the Lord Sandwich, with much pushing in for the miracle. In lorikeet-green hamlets, wallaby silhouettes are forsworn for cocktail hour at the tech-bubble and ‘Meet the Author’. Heretofore we cut a ribbon. 2 Water Bores, hence attention is drawn to a swimming article or ambling roadside thighs of the lace monitor following a flotilla and the judging of horses. The whole house plugged in to the see-saw of the mastermind’s snore. As far as meringue sunsets, sheep and wheat go, the first sod turned will be responsible. Nature has been most liberal is not just an empty phrase. No overt aching turning vehicle in the night, huge as it is, will be permitted. Although sheep, they dream of greener freedom with an inch of candle burning. Compliments and complaints comprise floats, equestrian and ring events around which agents are turned. Toy breeds with no real parallel to press forward, find conveyance in a purse. A ram changes hands, handcuffed. ‘Don’t you believe it’ is never intended as a question. 3 Vladivostok, Perm: true colour and duo-tone life of mountains. Hello Sarina/ Wowan out the window/ Biloela below/ sapphire views from the loo queue. Press button to receive tissue. Luggage exceeding the limit I had offered her my dress shoes and blue fipple-rooster (mouthpiece in the tail, finger-hole in the neck). A desultory tailpiece all but blown, twenty-seven bones forming a single bum note, projecting avian shadow puppets (the twenty-eighth order of birds) on customs’ glass. Read the rest of Overland 242 If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue Or subscribe and receive four brilliant issues for a year Nicholas Powell Nicholas Powell is an Australian poet and the author of Water Mirrors (UQP). His second collection, Trap Landscape, is forthcoming. He has lived in Finland since 2012. More by Nicholas Powell › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202312 September 2023 · Poetry Poetry | Games Heather Taylor-Johnson Days pinch and lately I’ve noticed every time I look in the mirror I’m squinting—maybe it’s a grimace. Without trying I’ve mastered the façade of a Besser block threatened by a mallet, by which I mean maybe the world won’t kill me but it’ll definitely hurt and I’ve got to be ready. First published in Overland Issue 228 31 August 20236 September 2023 · Poetry Verbing the apocalypse: Alison Croggon’s Rilke Josie/Jocelyn Suzanne ‘This again?’ and ‘why now? Why not years ago?’ are the two questions raised in each new translation of a non-English piece of Western Canon. There’s an understanding—of course a poetic cycle like the Duino Elegies is incomplete in English, there are endless new readings—and a simultaneous sense of wounded pride/suspicion: what was missing the last time around? What were you concealing from me? What are you concealing now?