Water colour country. Here the hills
rot like rugs beneath enormous skies
and all day long the shadows of the clouds
stain the paddocks with their running dyes.

In the small valleys and along the coast,
the land untamed between the scattered farms,
deconsecrated churches lose their paint
and failing pubs their fading coats of arms.

Beyond the beach the pine trees creak and moan,
in the long valley poplars in a row,
the hills breathing like a horse’s flank
with grasses combed and clean of the last snow.

from The Other Side Of Things (River Road Press, 2008), Vivian Smith 2008, used by permission of the author and River Road Press

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