Tuesday, February 23, 2016

New Poetry by Sean Wright

Black Snake Driving

We drive
north to the next town;
pass fields of stubble, grey
in late summer heat.
The road slows and stretches out;
a long black snake
basking in the morning sun.
Straight, the ride lulls us
to a meditative state.
Sheep so still, a quick
glance sees them stone;
small granite boulders nosing through
the lee side of the hill.

We drive
north to escape the sense
that standing still
is one foot out of six
beneath the ground.
Road side’s littered with plaques
that mark the resting place
of towns half remembered in
the double barreled names
of the district football teams -
Premiers ‘06,
‘07 and ‘13

We drive
north, the vista
never seems to change
but ruined farmsteads
claw up from the scrub;
each year sees them less
above ground than before.
Limestone monuments
forestalling the end of a dream.

We drive
north and the next
town feels just like
the one we left behind.
Familiar looks in faces
resigned to settling down.
Dusty streets, shriveled
grass, young children marched
off to a school
that bears family names
on halls, fund raised
playground sets
and clay-brick memorials

We drive on
and on, that long black snake
to feel it curve back
upon itself.

- Sean Wright 2016

SB Wright was born in Nhulunbuy, Arnhem Land, though most of his life has been spent in Alice Springs. A graduate of NTU he has spent his adult working life as a security guard, a martial arts instructor, a trainer in an international gaming company and as a secondary school teacher.

His work has been published in Tincture Journal, INDaily Adelaide, Eureka Street,  A Hundred Gourdes and the Anthologies: The Stars Like Sand, 50 Haikus and the forthcoming Poetry & Place (2015).

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