Harvester

The car’s dorsal wave carves off

a place neither here nor there; the highway’s

undertow drags at details

 

threshed from their commerce, tricked

into shapes elemental as furniture

in a house where we lived as children.

 

Cockatoos kaleidoscope

in frantic tessellations

beneath morning’s cellophane moon

 

white on grey swerving over pallid paddocks

as if the high cloud had been shredded

by the landscape’s languid gestures.

 

Cabins rust in dewy lineaments

their bulk emerging broad-backed

like cattle at dawn: knife guards and rasp bars

 

dragged from their duties, augers

forgetting their harvest, the conveyer chain

a tilde over their stilled senescence. 

 

Only the gatherer belt insists on a fit

purposive as a flint chip

as if knowing that the sun —

 

like a chorister’s high note,

a pinpoint on the cutter bar,

in this field under dawn beside the highway —

 

will always shine through.

‘The Disappearing’ Project, Red Room November 2012