Cowaramup is a small farming and tourist community in the Margaret River wine region of South-West Western Australia. My visit long ago remains an unsettling memory of alienation.
The blue-black raven night
draws opal-scented folds
from quicksilver sparkle, scattered
like smashed glass over meeting grounds.
So it is, at this paddock fence
beside the scoop of an earthen dam,
while the westwind makes a nonesense
of the placid pearls reflected there,
on grey Cowaramup pastures. Thin grasses
flung exhausted around bare oases
comfort pallid voyagers not at all
in the colourless heft of this waiting land,
as low, fast potato-clouds
march inexplicably north-east:
cloud-streets lie across an unpainted sky,
randomly snuffling at the raffling moon-track.
We walk in the slanted, bruised night air.