Sunday, April 4, 2010

Off the Cuff 2: A Water Poem & Flattening the State

April 2nd

APAD 2     prompt: a water poem

With all the rain, city floods, hailstones
causing roofs to cave in, it seems right
that reservoirs are refilling, resemble
dams again.

So as my daughter and I drive past
one of Lake Eildon's arms, we ask:
what's going on? where's the water?
the grass is green -

what happened here? Holiday homes
are perky, perched high above old
water level lines, banks cut away,
the floor covered

in grass and young gums, among
black skeletons of the ancestors.
Cars towing boats turn off as if
nothing's missing.

Oddly refreshing, these questions
after ten years' drought. Yet I am
nowhere near the source, for
easy answers.

Flattening the State

Driving along Hume Highway and
just before Curly Sedge Creek
we crane to see possible cover-up
criticise the cutaway half of a hill

mindful that Bacchus Marsh develops
in gaps between three quarries -
one for coal now abandoned; one
for sands, current site of realigning

freeway; and one still eating out
the lap of Lerderderg Gorge
accessed by a road called Pretty
Valley Lane. There's no valley now

because there's no hill. There's no
respite from dust in this town. We
are choking on our usefulness.
We are making money from dust.

New suburbs eat up the land
where land once produced food
flattening our vision of what is
possible as we cut and fill for progress.

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