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Salt, Sand and Silence
Samuel Cox (University of Adelaide, Australia)



Grown men bore the land
warm artesian waters well up
the mineral earth
rises to meet the sun.

The dam runs dry,
old man saltbush dies,
archaic brines (re)surface.
The land is lost.

‘Grown men are water,’
they flow through channel country,
drying up in empty basins
alluvium ‘feeding the land.’

‘Deep. Go deep,
as the long roots’
of the saltbush
plumb ‘the red country,’
for salt, sand and silence.1



1Quotations are from Randolph Stow, ‘From The Testament of Tourmaline: Variations on Themes of the Tao Teh Ching’. The Lands Meaning: New Selected Poems. Ed. John Kinsella. Fremantle: Fremantle Press, [1966] 2012, pp. 145-46.



Samuel Cox is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Adelaide. His research centres on writing dry inland environments. In his spare time he is a photographer, traveller and writes poetry.

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