Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Poem of the Day: 2

The News and Weather

I smoothed the pelt of the hills with my long looking
And the hills rose up and stretched in the early light.
In the home paddocks, along the river-flats
Black cattle doubled their height with morning shadow.

I heard the currawongs' cry as they swooped above me
The news they told was You can't change the weather
And who would want to, walking out very early
With pink and grey galahs tumbling for grass-seeds.

I picked a fig from the laden tree in the garden
And heard a voice that spoke in a tongue of flame
From the fiery sun behind the trembling tree-top:
You are lucky to be alive in these terrible times.

I peeled back the green of the fig breaking into its centre
Galah-coloured, pink and grey its thousand flowerlets,
And ate of the fruit of the garden and understood
The voice that seemed to flash in the air above.

The message must be received, taken into one's being
As knowledge is taken, biting on apple or fig –
Terrible times in the world that will not be changed –
And I walking out on such a morning early.

Rosemary Dobson

[from Untold Lives and Later Poems (Sydney: Brandl & Schlesinger, 2000)]

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