The world, the real is not an object. It is a process John Cage
Let the screen door to the shearers’ kitchen slap shut
on the stove-top’s curls of steam and, heart throbbing
with the day’s caffeine, set your course for silence and air.
With conversation at your back, take the dirt road
to the windmill, then turn toward the hard edge of winter
letting the south wind muscle through your clothes.
The country roars, air pushing itself into your ears
so let the wind snarl in the trap of your hair and pull
your thoughts home from their adventures. Remember,
the opposite of attention isn’t distraction, it’s neglect.
In this grainy hour it all becomes clear – this place asks
for both hardness and humility. Push yourself uphill, i
cheekbones slicing the cold, past beards of lichen and litterings
of scats, breath huffing in round vowels and feet beating the need
for space into red dust. Life may be short, but desire? Desire is long.
Keep moving but stay in the heart of your own sound –
the swoosh of jean and jacket, the clomp of boot on rock,
the heartbeat rhythm of your limp. Trust the wisdom of goats
until you struggle up out of shadow onto the hill’s spine,
emptiness unfolding in all directions. As the low sun
pours great sheaves of light across the range, breathe
and when you feel the boundary between your skin
and the world begin to blur, let your heart inhale.
Rest. You’ve earned it, your voice a drift of pollen.
Feel the layers in the rock beneath your feet, this mass
of stone that underpins us all creating its own rules
of geometry and beauty. Read the land’s thirsty script,
the piles of strata built and broken over aeons
hold an ancient narrative that tells of everything
that’s laid bare and all that endures unseen.
You are now in the cradle of surplus light and rising dark,
this hillside a ghost of the one you climbed
so set your compass for the campfire’s nebula.
There’s nothing to fear. The night is a clean darkness
under a shatter of stars, their light racing to you for millennia
in a loneliness that seems delightfully soundproof.
But it’s time to move out of this silence that’s the blend
of all the quiet species breathing and slip back
into your public skin. Find your place by the fire,
and as the ancients slip their ghosts into the gloves
of your fingers, watch the greyhound
go softly on her way and not look back.