The Land I Made Cold


A woodsman asides,
Hardly leaning upon his ard[1].
I see by his back, stock forest,
The hedges of felled gum
Intimate upon each
As the wind falls through them,
Playing their earthen organ sounds.

When his ard feels the ground,
Soil only curves,
Tired with each pulse.

In this meagre clearing
The ard’s rabbit furrows lose their minds,
And from the loose canopy
You can see exposed ant farms:
Insect insanity.

Sweat cools him under chimney draft,
And I think there is a candle
Becoming prone before a faded portrait.

Each story I hew
Leaves this man
A dollar-store fake,
As any name given.

Trying my feelings
At the language game,
Acting scribe to blunted words of thought,
This man nimble moves,
And wooden his stick
Its crook and bow move together.

With each thought I shudder,
Crafting his frailty,
His knowledge,
Teaching him of light-bulbs and philosophy,
Only to watch the woodsman withdraw
From his ard,
And the land I made cold.


[1] The ard is a plough of the most primitive form, unable to fully invert the soil it drives through. It can be seen as a symbol of the shift from forager cultures to the agricultural societies that preceded civilisation.

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and emerging. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.