Hugging the vast bulk of the continent
the range extends its fat botanic paws.
Their scrubby sides are thick with such ancient,
grey species of kindling as follow laws
inscribed in larval marks on peeling trunks.
They softly swoon amid peals of bell-birds,
an aural liquor that may make you drunk.
You steer your big machine by cautious thirds
up the road to Cunninghams Gap; past that,
you shoot through the tablelands, retracing
passes forged by hardy knaves who worked flat-chat
to fashion them into the bones we sing.
The squatter’s curse was once lord of the realm,
a safer pair of hands at nature’s helm.
Matthew da Silva was born in Brighton, Victoria, and grew up in Sydney. He has Bachelor of Arts and Master of Media Practice degrees from the University of Sydney and lived for just under a decade in Tokyo. He has two adult children and lives in Sydney.
*previously published in the Southerly*
Photo by Jeremy Wermeille on unsplash.com