So gnarl, press on,
not weaken befores or afters,
make haven in waste, gazette
extinctual scan as chips
off older blocks — riverviews
unbecome a surge of ghosts in trunks,
blotch of scruples in canopy, sky
as blue as eyes
streaked white once were —
glowing finance of our backers,
corrugated Knights Templar,
mountless roughriders, press on
in khaki flow, jut-jaw belligerence,
as declared — scientific — garrulous
it is said of us,
heroicise our brutals?
Alone, trudging solipsists, grace
and glide arterials, ford the aura
silted bed, mirror narratives flat, press on,
reflectionless, prised of shadow, waver
in flesh: let them come on, and on,
shoulder arms, fall
divided where wagons
fail to circle — no fear! unslung
metal backbone, shudder
riparian swathes of pollen,
our drive to mine a visage: seams
of fauna riven deep to characters. Press on.
John Kinsella (WA) is a poet whose most recent volumes of poetry includes America: A Poem. His poetics volume Disclosed Poetics: Beyond Landscape and Lyricism will be published in June 2007.
Journal was written by John Kinsella in response to Albert Tucker’s Explorers fording the river 1958 in the Newcastle Region Art Gallery collection.