Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    

Murray River

That first time I sensed you at the old Tocumwal railway bridge,

I peered out the window like a child

at the window of a lolly shop,

It was night,

I could barely see your glittering reflections

In the darkness, your breeze surrounded

My face with a scent of fresh cool water

And a hint of parched eucalypt


When I returned you welcomed me

like a fostering mother,

Soft fine grass

By a river red gum,

You cradled me into your ambience

By your trickling harmony;

The sunlight dancing off your flesh;

Your mouth petting the felled trees that protrude

From your body like antlers;

Your fingers making play with birds;

Your feet riding the steep banks


You are more than water and fish,

Native trees wave their arms in praise

The bird’s hymn fills the air between the rustling branches

The well-being of the native fish

Is an imitative reflection of your inner-being,

Native animals are your dependants,

Indigenous man was your symbiont brother,

The majestic flood plains hunger to entertain you again


The capitalists see you as an unlimited resource,

Their irrigation channels like leaches

which are afflicted with leaches,

Their locks and weirs like half-open wounds


           Like barnacles on a beautiful whale,

Their excess chemicals crawl beneath your soil

And sizzle along your flesh,

Their plague of carp gnaw at your legs,

Tearfully, you persist

                                      Angel-like longsuffering

You bloat their fruits and vegetables

Quench their crops and stock,

In return they imprisoned you

Those who abuse you are

like the enemies of my wife


Your acoustics were terrifying,

That night a large limb tore from its trunk

like a clap of thunder

It echoed through your belly and bullied out the silence,

Between the crack and the thud

Between sleeping and sitting

A moment within a moment

I sat taut with my sins

Staring at the moon-glare on the side of the tent

Looking to escape the paranoid repetition,

The still morning revealed nothing

conservationaustraliamurray rivereco poetry


<Deleted User> (18118)

Wed 25th Apr 2018 18:22

Beautiful poem
A celebration of Nature whilst acknowledging the damage humans inflict.


If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message