August 2005

Arts & Letters

Drought essay: Recognising the derision as fear

By Les Murray

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 ProneThe Biplane HousesWaiting for the Past and The Best 100 Poems of Les Murray. His work has been translated into ten foreign languages.

Cover: August 2005

August 2005

From the front page

Image of Buzz Aldrin next to flag on the Moon

Shooting beyond the Moon

Reflecting on the Apollo 11 mission as Mars beckons

Six years and counting

There is no hope in sight for hundreds of people on Manus Island and Nauru

The Djab Wurrung Birthing Tree

The highway construction causing irredeemable cultural and environmental damage

Detail of 'Man, Eagle and Eye in the Sky: Two Eagles', by Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang’s ‘The Transient Landscape’ and the Terracotta Warriors at the National Gallery of Victoria

The incendiary Chinese artist connects contemporary concerns with cultural history


In This Issue

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Comment

The true daughter

Illustration by Jeff Fisher.

Sarah has an interview

A dandy comes a cropper

It’s a very Australian thing to glorfy the rich, famous and dead. And yet Rene Rivkin was never really one of us, was he?

More in The Monthly Essays

Image of Molly

The extinction rebels

Direct action protest and the rise of a new resistance movement

Photo of Elon Musk

Mining the Moon

The resources industry says it’s finders keepers in the new space race

Image of South Sea Islander women, 1891

Blackbirds: Australia’s hidden slave trade history

The racism that brought Australian South Sea Islanders here, and the racism that tried to send them back

Illustration by Jeff Fisher

Family feud

A firsthand view of the nation’s new political faultlines


Read on

Image of Buzz Aldrin next to flag on the Moon

Shooting beyond the Moon

Reflecting on the Apollo 11 mission as Mars beckons

Image of Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and CFMEU Victoria secretary John Setka

Judge stymies Albanese’s plans to expel Setka from ALP

A protracted battle is the last thing the Opposition needs

Image from ‘Booksmart’

Meritocracy rules in ‘Booksmart’

Those who work hard learn to play hard in Olivia Wilde’s high-school comedy

Image of Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

The government’s perverse pursuit of surplus

Aiming to be back in black in the current climate is bad economics


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