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Showing posts from January 6, 2013

Zanzotto: Bushfire

The will-it won’t-it by January sunrise too hot, catch too easily Ground litter rushes this way and that air lifts taking branches dust paper Language heightens the preliminaries tinder dry will be flying ember Ozone hole morphs into heat dome denial feeds what cannot be denied Watchers try to wait it out easy measure the day with their fire plan Sublunar we mark the boundaries clear the property of native refuse Property, the invisible lines around our landed wishes It is burnt gumleaves come first flat brown clouds above the hills Flying flowing the immaterial flames will turn dark every seed-grown material Seed cases decades buried old grenades ready to explode But will it come and where unturned topsoil takes the heat Fuel load waits, unmoving grasses could spark here, or somewhere Will touch off across the fences, from gullies will tr

Zanzotto: Embankments

Train gone the fennel stalks resume quiet a wind-light scent aniseed Stalk levels reach up steep inclines their hold and force repeating each summertime Edwardian stones impacted deep surface below sleepers, mute tangible scatter Or from acacia and peppercorn humus amidst paper mulch and refuse Little grasses spiky or downy splurge green evidence Where they cannot be picked where they field flowers go Ants from hideouts file through stems slow some, large with food specks Seed-headed fennel and ivy and a tangle of purple passion flowers In breeze silence, unattended but for an old Italian man with secateurs I sometimes think of what he might say to so much profusion On the vacant declines of Westgarth-Richmond i.e. what might I say? And here it comes the next one p assengers at windows blank with ipods S

Zanzotto: Occupations

To read him say he wipes the window into childhood and sees its workers Artisans at Veneto doorways hewers of wood and grinders of knives Is to wipe across the winter window and watch trades as they went: Milkman, leave those bottles on the footpath catch up with your clink-clink horse cart Garbage man, empty the stinking bins from the shoulder, set down with grace Butcher, amidst sawdust air, sever the offal slice the lines accurately for hours Ironmonger, lift the weight and feel the time it will take for a hard sale Blacksmith, fashion more glowing horseshoes in the shed behind the bowsers Knitters, by day and night make home comfort go full length He helps us see work without sentiment labour worth the years it takes Who are we, tied to the end of cables our income a set of numbers in a vault? And what are our chances of breakthrough to an arca