Trip wire and tilt,
flipping and paralleling
when all was silent;
wasted in our frippery
they changed the sun, our colours
washed to soil and water, running
into each other, blending.
We wanted and they short-circuited
shadow as bright as dazzle,
flash-blindness placing dark
absorbent spots on the luminous
object: lichen moves on jam tree,
a slight behind us. Onion grass
laminates the breeze it captures,
so much caught in our language.
Little corellas follow an adjacent
tree line—their lustre
all sound. We sense confidence.
We do not feel uncomfortable
in our bodies, though can’t be sure
they’re centres of calm.
Conflict dissipates with denudation.
We can’t ask her as air
that sears vocal chords is unfamiliar,
words taken by smaller birds:
dusted yellow, black hoods,
the finch-like beaks of wedge politics?
A redwood bends to compliment
the granitic hills, once green-boned
and gently climbing, retro
as York gum and wandoo,
when all was silent we were.
John Kinsella’s most recent volumes of poetry are Peripheral Light: Selected and New Poems (W. W. Norton, 2003), Doppler Effect: Collected Experimental Poems (Salt, 2004), and The New Arcadia (W. W. Norton, 2005).