Australian politics, society & culture

Drought Essay: Recognising the Derision as Fear

Les Murray

Short read100 words
Cover: August 2005
August 2005
It's raining at last in the bush, where there is no confidence, only hope.
John Harms
Boys don't cry, nor are they given over to soppy goodbyes
Neil Murray
'Secrets of the Jury Room' by Malcolm Knox
Julian Burnside
Sarah Watt's 'Look Both Ways'
Helen Garner
The strange and the strangely familiar lurk in 'A River Ain't Too Much to Love'
Robert Forster
Carmel Bird

Death gets into the suburbs, but sleek

turnover highrise keeps it out of mind


and wilderness, wrapped in its own deaths,

scarcely points us at ours,


but furred rusty machines, and grey

boards unglazed for heritage or holiday –


you can’t truck in enough bricks.

Settled country is the land of the dead,


there you are taught love as mourning,

you shop in boarded-up places.


It’s great to follow car-dust

out towards the Mistake,


way past a working people’s farm,

long widowed, standing in space.

Les Murray

Les Murray is an award-winning Australian poet with more than 30 published collections of work, including Taller When Prone and The Biplane Houses. His work has been translated into ten foreign languages.
More by Les Murray