September 2021

Back to Issue 10

The wrong turn that lost us

By Carl Walsh

on dust-eaten roads     

where even trees had a film of the stuff     

dulling leaves     

that we could leave finger marks in     

               this corner 


of the dawn     

night silts day with sediment of stars     

I rest my head 

weary upon my pillow     

dream uneasily     

wonder whether nations have souls    

               in this purgatory 


of thought     

there’s no you & I     

no right & wrong     

no happiness or sorrow     

there just is –      

until sun cracks sky with light     

               we map 


this continent     

claiming with foreign names     

drawing lines 

that divide it up like paddocks      

& on the fence-line                 

               there’s you           


& I      

soon we’ll break scrub 

dip into a blue horizon     

that’ll resist us with cresting waves 

booming on empty beaches      

before swallowing us