For Chris and Clare.
At the biggest moon I have ever seen,
I remember the words of a young friend
who an hour or two earlier, roadside,
told me that his chemo will never end:
he was being factual; and with no hint
of drama, neither comedy nor tragedy.
I was having trouble hearing him
over the rolling trucks. He is ready
like no man I have ever seen be.
Ready. As one who returns from a walk
with his beloved, along the quiet track
through bush and a ghostly farm where talk
does not need to be, and so to learn –
as the waning of the moon that will not return.
‘As an invisible spirit of All-life
the clear water is all-clear forever.’
Jim Everett (puralia meenamatta)
and Jonathan Kimberley, ‘Water’.
You are looking without seeing.
Myth, cocoon of black stripes, pouch,
ungula prints of this rainforest’s endling…
A blind jaw traps: encapsulates two million years.
Masked owl, white goshawk, is she the last?
Remember her, sun-sifted into freedom
at this sweet-tasting river of the Blue Tier.
In the golden pouch of night, is it a dream –
rope-tailed, curious – if downstream
a white man at the coming of the dawn
by the river, shivers in the All-life
of this mirror? In morning’s sunroom
a butterfly: winged with light the all-seeing river,
mirror to a papier-mâché sun.
Tim Slade’s debut collection, The Walnut Tree, was published earlier this year by Bright South. His poems have been published widely, including in The Weekend Australian, The Koori Mail, Australian Poetry Anthology, Growing Up Disabled In Australia and Cordite Poetry Review. Tim’s poem, 'Teacup of the Rose', was praised in the Margaret Reid International Poetry Prize. In the years 2013 – 2021, Tim has contributed twenty-five articles for Tasmanian Times (online). Tim lives in Pioneer, near the Blue Tier, in Tasmania’s north-east. His website is at Tim Slade.