Like some murky storm that presages
pain, or engine that mauls the curb, the
stereo wallows its bass notes at the
top of the head, lands soft as afterbirth.
"If you place a white sheet over America
500 Indian Nations show like bloodspots,"
said Jim Harrison at Lake Superior,
"the buffalo and the Big Tree's gone
too. Greed!" Mostly, beauty is nostalgia.
The random motes of a rainbow end up
on the garbage heap again. These sticks
which encase the Great Lakes, Jim,
are the Happy Hunting ground for the likes
of you & me. Men picking on the chance
sounds of emptiness. The daily round
of campfire, man and nature, etc., A moon
patient as an escalator, maybe. It's all
been done before, anyhow. What was
that about Indians leaving a flaw in the
fabric for the soul to escape? Ours
is the gift of factory seconds, well made &
well meant through to a public we detest
if you think about it. And the quickest way
to solitude is via a four wheel drive, eh?
There's comfort in that mate, getting out.
Stephen Oliver is an antipodean whose several collections of poetry include: &Interviews (1978), Earthbound Mirrors (1984), Guardians, Not Angels (1993), Islands of Wilderness - A Romance (Penguin, 1996). His work is widely represented in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, USA, UK, South Africa, Canada, etc. His next full collection is titled "Unmanned". Stephen Oliver has spent the last decade of this century based in Sydney.