Poem | William Cotter

Australia Felix

Painting by Chintu Das

The wedge- tailed eagle comes alone here, now,
The keeper of winters, summers, murders,
The single voice and the passing shadow,
The wing scribbling down the sandstone ridges.
He it was who saw the feeble sun slide
And erase, the darkness spit sudden fire,
The horses on the steepest slopes, the wide
Eyed children desperate to climb higher,

Heard the straggling acacias lamenting,
In the clean, semi-dark caves the cut short cries
Of mothers. The snub nosed shotguns barking
And the hideous game of hide-and-seek.

But all is calm, now. And across the plain
He carries in silence one people’s shame, another’s pain.

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