Magazine article World Literature Today

On Hammock Hill

Magazine article World Literature Today

On Hammock Hill

Article excerpt

This is my devotion, then: to walk sometimes

with the dog through the sclerophyll

Cathedral of the morning. To let myself

Off my lead and follow a half-made track,

thinking a dilapidated liturgy,

Through bracken fern and native raspberry, three kinds

Of gum and a hundred kinds of weed,

toward nowhere in particular.

For the dog, the trail is a cartography

of smells, its landmarks

Excrement and rabbit holes and old impressions

Left in mud. For me, it's a way

I can't find, most times, to lose

My way among brown butterflies; to fall out of the frantic schedules of the shallow

Hours that count down most of one's time on earth. The forest path

is a labyrinth of bells and several local species

Of solitude. I go out daily, hoping for the rest of me,

the otherness in all of us; I come back with dew

Drenched boots. And a weary dog. Inside my life - is it like this for you? -

I'm the blowfly that got inside the house: open two windows

And watch it beat itself up

against every way it can't get out, until

It can't remember why it wanted to. …

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