Academic journal article Antipodes

Second Winter

Academic journal article Antipodes

Second Winter

Article excerpt

All morning, I watched how wind wrenches the trees.

Finally it shifted me from my seat, I should bend and bow

like the branches, with their heaps of peelings.

Nothing escapes change, being swept this and that way.

The crag is eroding, deeply scrawled in mud.

Engineers cannot save the red sandstone crumbled in time.

The architects' designs are archived on a damp shelf.

Even moss chooses a path of gravity, greening the oaks.

The patient owl that wastes no effort will miss a prey

because the light tricks him and he hesitates. Too late.

Spruces point into shafts of light until clouds collide.

Buzzards wheel in warm thermals but wheeze in hunger.

Deer graze when the valley folds into dusk, then fright.

I envy nature's economy, the mallard's flotation corrects

in the stream (though I've seen ducks drunk on toxins).

How do hawks enclose and stab with such symmetry?

Yet, routine alters for all living creatures; our tendencies

are flaws, we grip like the cobweb, the leaf, the grass

before wind-stripping days, or horizontal rain sluices

the ploughed fields. …

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