The cattle grid jolted him back; it was where the green
Tree snake coiled itself like a stowed garden hose around
The railway iron & they refused to cross, the gap of fear
Too great. An Apostlebird greeted his return, its grey fantail
Spread in an elegant bow, its harsh voice he inherited; purely
Environmental. Lousy Jacks his mother called them, as their
Disciples slapped mud huts onto the trunks of black wattle.
He grew in a bedroom the colour of prickly pear & it became
His favourite colour; frog his schoolyard nickname. He learnt
To read news headlines peeling away the frayed linoleum;
Pink with red flowers in his parent’s bedroom, as if wrack
Could be countered by austere repetition. The cottage was
Decaying, even the mud wasps had abandoned their homes.
He gave a nest to his daughter; the fine creation full of holes.
‘Weranga’ was first published in Cordite in 2009.
Weranga book review by Martin Duwell 1st December 2013.
Weranga book review by David Dick 9th July 2014.