Poetry Journal

Issues / Volume 5 Issue 2 , November 2015


Flying across Australia

Kevin Ireland

  There was so much of the whole place to take in
  that whatever may have slipped out of the frame
  belonged nowhere else you could think of quickly
  and you might even be tempted to add that there was
  enough down there to get on with anyway so why
  worry about it and who’d argue the point, the drift of
  what I am saying possibly being that what glorious
  small thought could ever be deemed appropriate
  when confronted with such immensity, by which I mean
  all those patched bolts of crumpled scenery unrolling
  for what could be ever-and-ever—like fate, history
  or the hereafter—indicating meaningful assertions
  in hessian, blotched sailcloth, with obscurities of muslin,
  not to mention an endless sufferance of sacking,
  complete with suggestions of hot and gritty ashes,
  all of them ripped apart by huge riverbeds, none of which
  were presently serving their prime purpose?
  But never forget you could very well take a deep breath
  and go on to ask what about the hand of man and if things
  might not be enhanced greatly by long strips of steel rails,
  chains of lorries loaded with asphalt or concrete
  and shops with gas pumps, just as with a dramatic sweep
  of the arm you may as well go the whole hog and admit
  to the mystery of endless giant clouds that were pegged out
  like permanent fixtures, exactly the same as last time.
  In other words there were aspects of largeness that didn’t
  fit a neat picture even though, I agree,  they also weren’t
  trying to go out of their way to be what you might describe
  as pretentiously impressive on an entirely imaginary
  scale of holy grandeur. It called for some sort of theory
  to tidy up everything. I didn’t feel it was down to me
  to figure it out and the passenger next door never stopped
  talking, so there it still is, patiently out there waiting.