Published in Overland Issue 202 Autumn 2011 · Writing / Main Posts Survey John Kinsella It’s been too hot during the day to survey the block – ornate language doesn’t do the trick, it’s a physical, material, and pragmatic performance … not ‘radical empiricism’, but an act of preservation. The difference here; the difference elsewhere. I work this over as I note the fast, hot winds have brought down two great limbs from the eucalypt by the tank, the green leaves already seared and probably ‘dead before they hit the ground’. The water trough I fill for kangaroos and other wildlife in this desiccated habitat is almost dry and what moisture remains informs a bloom of algae. I clean and refill. Red ants bite my feet and I carefully brush them away. A hawk looks for a safe perch to settle for the night. Each substance ‘inheres’, or is it ‘in which they inhere’? as William James might attribute to this wood from the fallen tree, questioning its quality of ‘combustibility and fibrous structure’. I – we – manage our days because of those attributes, those qualities of burn. I survey the block in the relative cool of evening while there’s still enough light to make things out: shape them individually and as an entirety, into a whole that adds up, is as good as might be, kept from larger harm, grouped in those days James lectures us about, phenomena of climate and gumption to resolve as much as possible. I entrust to the relative cool of night. John Kinsella John Kinsella’s new work includes the story collection Pushing Back (Transit Lounge, 2021), Saussure's Kaleidoscope Graphology Drawing-Poems (Five Islands Press/Apothecary Archive, 2021) and The Ascension of Sheep: Collected Poems Volume 1 (UWAP, 2022). More by John Kinsella › 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 202315 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize ($6500) Editorial Team Supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, and named after the late Neilma Gantner, this prize seeks excellent short fiction of up to 3000 words themed around the notion of ‘travel’; imaginative, creative and literary interpretations are strongly encouraged. This competition is open to all writers, nationally and internationally, at any stage of their writing career. First published in Overland Issue 228 8 September 202326 September 2023 · Main Posts Announcing the 2023 Judith Wright Poetry Prize ($9000) Editorial Team Established in 2007 and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, the Overland Judith Wright Poetry Prize for New and Emerging Poets seeks poetry by writers who have published no more than one collection of poems under their own name (that is writers who’ve had zero collections published, or one solo collection published). It remains one of the richest prizes for emerging poets, and is open to poets anywhere in the world. In 2023, the major prize is $6000, with a second prize of $2000 and a third prize of $1000. All three winners will be published in Overland.