Nose down in the froth of his clover beer
the grey horse sups alone.
He ignores a butting calf with its patched coat,
and the flitting tarts the wagtails -
how he must hate their chirpy songs;
they can't really hold a tune,
only some pitiful, high-pitched laughs.
The old lady cow with her udder showing and nipple hair.
Dependables this time each evening that he prefers to turn his back to.
The owl on a fencepost stool.
The annoying flickering light bulb of lightning.
A magpie pushes another with its chest, there's a second's flap and fighting,
but the horse minds his own business;
he's not complicated with paddock politics -
the only poll he knows about is the knob of fuzz-fringe between his ears.
He's like a simpleton, letting his feet be caked with mud
and flies fiddle with his eye corners, hair that never sees a brush.
He pisses wherever he wants and has green teeth
from continually skolling the world. It's his addiction.
He does it for hours, staring into his habit that's eventually quelled,
though for all that, his ribs still stick out.
Then his gravity returns, pulls him down
to its level, and he must take up his spot
once more, head lowered in the half dark by himself.
There is nowhere quite like The Monthly. We are told that we live in a time of diminished attention spans; a time where the 24-hour-news-cycle has produced a collective desire for hot takes and brief summaries of the news and ideas that effect us. But we don’t believe it. The need for considered, reflective, long-form journalism has never been greater, and for almost 20 years, that’s what The Monthly has offered, from some of our finest writers.
That kind of quality writing costs money, and requires the support of our readers. Your subscription to The Monthly allows us to be the home for the best, most considered, most substantial perspectives on the state of the world. It’s Australia’s only current affairs magazine, an indispensable home for cultural commentary, criticism and reviews, and home to personal and reflective essays that celebrate and elevate our humanity.
The Monthly doesn’t just comment on our culture, our society and our politics: it shapes it. And your subscription makes you part of that.
Select your digital subscription