Terra Nullius

Originally posted on the ABC news site, ‘The Drum’. Just bringing all my work home, bear with me!

Terra Nullius

When night falls, you can hear the call
of the kookaburra in its tree. In this land,

cities are overrun with stick-figure people
prone to falling through the gaping cracks

while leaders feast on words with no meaning,
chewing it like gristle in lean-times. With relish.

They man the walls, maintaining the brick
and mortar shells even while flesh withers.

These deserts once burned with songfire – lightning
sparked wild bush into leaping stories, throats

into open exultation. Now, stone silence hangs
heavy in the baked air. Even the echoes are lost.

The steel remains; cracked glass towers
and fractured suburbs tracked in tyre-marks

seared into roads that stretch
into the horizon, thick black tongues licking at

shores woven with reefs of barbed wire,
still tangled with frayed threads and bits of hair.

 

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