December 2017 – January 2018

Arts & Letters

The inland food bowl

By Les Murray
A poem

A gapped circle of colonies
each staring at the ocean
through a plaid of cars and imports.

Inland lies the still uncrowded
heartland once of drawl and steamboats
now half desert, half freshwater province.

There the Murray descends its seven thousand
feet off the Pilot, zigzags over the plains,
forest and furrow toward an outfall wash.

Narrow rivers link to this one, or slant north
where the dragon Ceratodus grunts in ivory mail
and streets are shaded in peppercorn and willow.

Having monstered tribesfolk,
dressed POWs in maroon,
it now flickers dials, or pipes experienced water

onto rice, onto cotton, on to Adelaide.
Western scrub rivers merge down the Darling
above flint blade

and reburied bones of the Warrior
as snow wind chills the saltbush
down from seven thousand feet.

Les Murray

Les Murray is an award-winning Australian poet with more than 30 published collections of work, including Taller When ProneThe Biplane HousesWaiting for the Past and The Best 100 Poems of Les Murray. His work has been translated into ten foreign languages.

December 2017 – January 2018

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The prime minister is backing Australia into a corner

Installation view of Tarnanthi at the AGSA

Coming forth like the first light: Tarnanthi 2019

This South Australian festival celebrates the rich diversity of contemporary Indigenous art

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The Church frontman Steve Kilbey

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Illustration

Bait and switch

Lumping dingoes in with “wild dogs” means the native animals are being deliberately culled


In This Issue

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We are all diminished

Australian politics is full of contradictions, double standards and gaping voids

Unfinished business: A short story

Can a young wartime couple pick up where they left off?

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The unflappable Finkel

Australia’s chief scientist talks energy alternatives and trying to elevate the narrative

Illustration

Straight outta Narrandera

Victoria Lee takes on the Victoria’s Secret runway


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A way home: Archie Roach

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Read on

Installation view of Tarnanthi at the AGSA

Coming forth like the first light: Tarnanthi 2019

This South Australian festival celebrates the rich diversity of contemporary Indigenous art

Image of Steve Kilbey

The Church frontman Steve Kilbey

The prolific singer-songwriter reflects on four decades and counting in music

Image from ‘The Report’

Interrogating the interrogators: ‘The Report’

This tale of the investigation into CIA torture during the War on Terror places too much faith in government procedure

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What really happened at Yuendumu?

The promised inquiries must answer the biggest questions raised by the police shooting of an Aboriginal man


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