Spring 1998 • Vol. XX No. 2 Poetry |

An Aerial View of Wheatlands in Mid-Autumn

Indeed, it is a question if the exclusive reign of this orthodox beauty is not approaching its last quarter.             THOMAS HARDY—The Return of the Native In the reciprocity of summer And the year's first frosts, the green eruption Hesitant, the stramineous remainder Of last season's crop converts to nitrogen As slowly overhead the spotter plane Dissects the quickening flesh of Wheatlands, The probing eye of the camera hidden From your curious surveillance, while stands of mallee gnaw at the salty badlands. That they'll offer to sell you the stolen Moment, the frozen minutiae of your Movement within the tableau, the tension Extracted with such unwanted exposure: The screams of the cockatoo, the tractor Aching deep in its gut having swallowed A brace of teeth as it crunched into gear, Bleats of sheep on their way to be slaughtered, The drift as a neighbor sprays weedicide. Remember though that if given the chance You would scrutinize someone

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John Kinsella
John Kinsella's recent books of poetry include Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016), Jam Tree Gully (WW Norton, 2012) which won the Australian Prime Minister's Award for Poetry and the Judith Wright Calanthe Award, and Sack (Picador, UK, 2014). He is an Extraordinary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University and Professor of Literature and Environment at Curtin University.

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Indeed, it is a question if the exclusive reign of this orthodox beauty is not approaching its last quarter.             THOMAS HARDY—The Return of the Native In the reciprocity of summer […]

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