The Macarthur line

Great cranes extend their necks
across the bog and swamp
land abandoned where airport and landfill
edge up, uncomfortable.
Lass dir Raten, trinke Spaten

Shiny bright eco-efficient designs
thrust from marsh mud and simmering drums
rusting against cars crushed amongst zelemite
bedrooms, resting beneath tons of ochre,
plaster of paris, papier mache;
posts peg outlines of play equipment
for the children of the well meaning well-to-dos
who'll buy all this.

Skinks crash in plane tree leaves, stubbies disintegrate,
debris free flying
but for a moment, then
forever dormant, melting softly into mulch clay shale
and the silt of seasoned breath
expelled on a milk crate inhaled for cigarettes
singing 40,000 years, 40,000 years

This city is like this country –
broken bricks built over with steel,
glass and nylon – the entire tumbling edifice
propped precariously on a sandstone bed
swarming with restless spirits.

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