Contemporary Australian Poetry.
Deadly by Ronald Barton
Jazz Club by Meg Caddy
Midday beats on Brewarrina. Everywhere, the dead art
of sign writing marks a portal to another misplaced place.
Drifters are crouched outside the roadhouse, face-deep
in itinerant shadow – the slow slap of rubber thongs on tar
measuring time’s movement. In the Gamba grass, decades
of wasteland spoil are buried with the message sticks.
There’s something dangerous about the middle distance,
in the quiet menace of scarecrow men – kerosene eyes
that swim beyond social convention. Out here, heat is not
the only mirror that exposes the dark heart pumping away
inside all of us. Grey nomads pass through town, pressing
the auto-locks – fumbling with maps. This is our existential
blind spot – without words but not unspoken; a shared
endlessness, still littered with the same dingo fences.
Vanessa Page is a Cashmere-based poet who hails from Toowoomba in Queensland. She has published two collections of poetry: Feeding Paper Tigers (ALS Press, 2012) and Confessional Box (Walleah Press, 2013). Confessional Box was the winner of the 2013 Anne Elder Award.