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South of my days circle part of my blood s cou

South of my days"" circle part of my blood""s country
rises that tableland high delicate outline
of bony slopes wincing under the winter
low trees blue leaved and olive outcropping granite
clean lean hungry country. The creek""s leaf silenced
willow choked the slope a tangle of medlar and crabapple
branching over and under blotched with a green lichen
and the old cottage lurches in for shelter.


O cold the black frost night. the walls draw in to the warmth
and the old roof cracks its joints the slung kettle
hisses a leak on the fire. Hardly to be believed that summer
will turn up again some day in a wave of rambler roses
thrust it""s hot face in here to tell another yarn
a story old Dan can spin into a blanket against the winter.
seventy years of stories he clutches round his bones
seventy years are hived in him like old honey.


During that year Charleville to the Hunter
nineteen one it was and the drought beginning
sixty head left at the McIntyre the mud round them
hardened like iron and the yellow boy died
in the sulky ahead with the gear but the horse went on
stopped at Sandy Camp and waited in the evening.
It was the flies we seen first swarming like bees.
Came to the Hunter three hundred head of a thousand
cruel to keep them alive and the river was dust.


Or mustering up in the Bogongs in the autumn
when the blizzards came early. Brought them down
down what aren""t there yet. Or driving for Cobb""s on the run
up from Tamworth Thunderbolt at the top of Hungry Hill
and I give him a wink. I wouoldn""t wait long Fred
not if I was you. The troopers are just behind
coming for that job at the Hillgrove. He went like a luny
him on his big black horse.


Oh they slide and they vanish
as he shuffles the years like a pack of conjuror""s cards.
True or not it""s all the same and the frost on the roof
cracks like a whip and the back log break into ash.
Wake old man. this is winter and the yarns are over.
No one is listening
South of my days"" circle.
I know it dark against the stars the high lean country
full of old stories that still go walking in my sleep..

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by:- admin posted in:- judith wright

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