Late Summer by the Goulburn by Kathleen Dalziel

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Brown waves, bobbing
Across the stones
Dance to the thundering undertones
Of crickets strumming in grasses rank.
Grasshoppers drumming from bank to bank
The same old rhythms, the same roll-call,
And the bleaching noon-day above it all.

The brown swimming-hole mirrors, out of plumb,
The tawny bole of a river gum
where, top of the slant-leafed, twisty tree,
A brown hawk scans

Looks the earth and its outskirts over:
Cocksfoot, fescue, withered clover
Dusty and dull, unbeautiful.
The slopes run up and the road runs down,
Drifts and dwindles and disappears
In a mirage of shaking, spangling airs.
All the world
Shrivelled and curled,
Leaf-dry, sapless and summer brown.

I like it thus.
It suits my mood,
This murmurous brown solitude;
With the sap dried out
Of the heart of things --
Of being, after the heart's long drought.
Though no bird sings,
It is not the greyness of pain or fear,
Never the blackness of despair:
For paddock and hillside, ridge and slope
Are heavy with promise, rich with hope,
Only waiting the autumn rain
To shiver and spring to life again.

First published in The Bulletin, 6 May 1953

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 6, 2014 8:08 AM.

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