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This poem is taken from PN Review 188, Volume 35 Number 6, July - August 2009.

Four Poems Chris Wallace-Crabbe

Firestorm

The bushfires rant around our draggled town Life
Disintegrating some bloke in his house
And broiling others, where sedans broke down
Blindly. All blackened, from wombat to mouse.

That moment screamed in, rumoured to be like
Four Lockheeds or Rolls Royces in your head.
If you still have a head, now.
Squats on the ash: one charger for the dead?

Nature must lack the chivalry we could sniff
As brotherly tribute: something has turned out worse
With Plato’s cave become a blazing cliff;

Pain is the knot-hole in our universe
And yet the black calligraphy of trees
Can make this long view elegantly Chinese.


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