The Overland

The Overland

It’s the time of year
When all is pure white snow.
At the foot of Mt Oakleigh
Right out the front of New Pelion hut.

Wallabies and possums swap shifts
As the sun swaps with the stars.
Snow covers everything: the button grass
Plains, the camping platforms

The toilets, everything, except the flowing creek.
It’s Sunday, but for all I care it could be the middle of the week.
No dreams of my dead brother last night, but the night
Before that, and the night before that one nightmare,

And one happy dream where Justin was supervising me
And someone else working on a car. We started mucking
Around, Justin got annoyed but didn’t say anything
Until after work when we’re driving home in his kombi

I asked what was wrong and he explained, I said:
“We’re about to buy beer right?” He said ‘Yeah’
I asked: “what are you worried about?”
He said nothing and smiled.

Watching the melted snow flow, sun glistening
Move to bounce on the air, my face, the hut roof
A flock of some twenty currawongs fly fly from pine
To eucalypt to pine, their water heavy wings woop and the woop

Gets deeper in sound before the bird reaches the branch.
Snow falls to the ground before the snow can melt it.
A raven arrives from the direction of the icing sugar covered mud
cake of the mountain, as if it only just dropped in off the summit.

How long can the snow hold before it’s taken?
Thudding drops like falling autumn
or bodies lined up for execution
Tea tannin buttongrass sweating thoroughbred eucalypt trunks

Not one un-iced, not one not dropping ice. A plume of grey
Smoke rises beyond a natural cairn: I’ve been tricked
By this before, perhaps dark misty waterfall, the planet, a pipe smoking.