16 September, 2008

Desert Writings 6

Raymond of Into The Blue sent out his newsletter today, and features a poem I wrote on the plane from Alice to Darwin, which was triggered by reading a review (well, just the title, really) of Bonnie Prince Billy's album Lie Down in the Light:
Lie down in the night.
Lie down in the star light.
Click off your head-torch.
Lay down your brain.
Still that wordy noise and wondering.
Lie quietly and let your heart
shift your warmth out into your wrappings,
lap you in life-blood,
busy on the floor of the silent room,
the high ceiling washed and pooled and spattered with star-milk.
That tree there is a great dark hand
With gleams between the fingers,
That one a many-horned spirit
with an eye pulsing and fading light-years away.

The day has been one story after another,
one face, one pair of boot-heels,
one step, one thousand steps, two thousand, ten—who’s counting?
Today has been all country, soaked in sorrow and stories;
today has made history, a day’s small measure of it,
today has made smells; strong bodies, herb-leaves faint with drought;
today has digested and deposited us,
like so much waste, so many castings-off,
in the sand, here one, there another,
flat-swagged in brown and green,
each with her city equipment,
each with her just-in-cases,
lumping beside her on the river bed,

but all in the dark,
all head-lamps now clicked off,
the fire sinking to slumber in its pit.
Up and down and across the invisible river
the walkers and the writers fall to sleep,
and the ghost of river water
rushes over them.
Now, just imagine the wonderful poems you'll be writing, on the plane back from Tasmania. Yeah. Think about it.


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