The Rolling Land

The Rolling Land is a patina of small places
Laced with paths and light dry bones.
Edges and cross-paths excite
The little gods that congregate whispering.
Surely everything is woven out of bones –
The trillions dead,
A mat, a tapestry, a net
Figured with the patterns
Of recursive breath.
Since mud first stirred,
Rippling the water skin,
There has been death.

There could be no ghosts
Before history.
If they are there,
They are piled high,
Tangled together,
wailing wanton death
Along the edges of the roads.
Spectral mountains of the dead –
wombats, roos, possums, black-fellas
Hedging in the heedless,
scurrying to urgent destinations
Of the poison fueled wheels
of the dead to life.

Lurching monsters cart away creature homes
Or crush them under their treads.
Now rains come no more or all at once.
With these rended corpses of the forest –
We build our houses,
Fuel our comfort fires.
Wipe our bums.
Feral exotics prowl the stump wastelands
With claws and teeth and hook and bullet.
Thickets of bramble arch over the killing fields
of fish, reptile, marsupial and tribe.
A scattered calligraphy remains
Scribing the dry curses of our
Heedless doom.

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