Viki Wright Rivett (University of Technology Sydney, Australia)
Here on a dried bone fragment
on the lip of a socket, healed
after a moon-extraction,
or perhaps on a spoon-rest that points
to a giant cup’s apogee,
or the potter’s fingernail,
I dizzily gaze at whorls and ridges
twenty, thirty storeys down
of God’s green thumbprint.
He, satisfied, left this
unglazed high-walled dish to hold
nothing but infinity
in the calm, warm air.
“Oar sum” sez a txting grandson,
then leaves the unrailed nail,
back to the cuticle for reception,
leaves me, small as a winged ant.
Down, down the scrub is packed
like a market box of broccoli.
It’s good he’s here, ready to dial,
or I might float, silent as litter,
and cause no change.
Then scrub would seal my whiting bones
and hold me in this deep green cup
in the ongoing forever.
They say Wentworth slept here
having tiredly seen the next stage
rise between heroism
and the fabled inland sea.
Perhaps he slowed,
stopped, looked, breathed,
connected and irrelevant.
Perhaps he too thought to fly.
The headline never happened.
Like me, he pulled back
from the smooth nail’s edge.
He took his horses, trackers, guns,
his strange food and famous fellows,
his European dreams,
and kept pushing forward
through cuts in stone walls
and empty streams
and the sacrificing shrieks of birds,
hoping for market gardens, gold,
and trade with cultured people.
Now, in his village, Norm sells sausages
and busloads of old Koreans queue
outside the German cake shop.
Viki Wright Rivett lives in Sydney’s Blue Mountains. She is a slow-working novelist, presently close to finishing a Masters degree in creative writing. This piece was stimulated by Martin Harrison’s class: Writing Poetry.