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Constellations of significance

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Photo: Tom Hunt

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I wake to a sunrise triptych

sky blooming pastel between electric wires

that occasionally fizz and sputter overhead

to the open-beaked staccato

of a kookaburra

it is morning, mourning

always another day to remember that beauty

can take the form of defiance

can take the form of a bird

can be the grip of ancient claws

wrapped around copper cable, tight as memory

the earth will always roll back to its origin

when left alone

the roads erased, the craters filled

man’s odd monoliths will be returned to the mud

or else repatriated by a twisting branch

a stretching sea, a crawling bug

in the meantime, all is archive;

see here, the fossil’s old face pressed into the stone

                     above a plastic bottlecap?

                     see the gulls, the scattered shells

this earring lost or tossed

                     beside an early fisherman’s tracks

that blot the shoreline

                     like fingerprints upon Blue Monochrome?

in the meantime, we make art

                     and take art

to try and still the wriggling eel in the chest

that says something is slipping



                                           thing is

burning, is shrinking


                     one is spilling his heavy ink over the canvas edge

morning after morning

to colour and fade all things


                     I am not as indifferent as the sun

with each slim opening of the eye

I fear that I arrange and destroy the world

keeping some, forgetting most

collecting my own constellations of significance

and leaving the rest to the dust

isn’t it true      that separation

                     is the first and final death?

isn’t it true      that the dust

                     will make of us its own collection

                     bone by slender bone?

and yet, the kookaburra

and yet, his clenched feet

and yet, his open mouth

his bright pink tongue

the brushstroke of a giggle on the breeze