Greg McLaren lives in Sydney, Australia. His first collection is Everything Falls In (Vagabond Press).
A large body of water
looked out at for a long time,
our words like floodwater.
We looked back,
not trusting the rearview
: an unbroken stretch of road still there,
like the god
in a lazy atheist's joke
We have hitch-hiked to the edge of our inland sea,
we know enough to make no claim on it.
We have nation enough.
Strange fish shift fluidly, they are found in no books,
no ichthyology has described them.
I wade into their water.
By nightfall I am striding through fathoms
rippling with slow moonlight, aimlessly
developing gills, flippers, sonar.
Everything Falls In
It's a black that blinds, in this sun,
this bird opening a crack in its beak to croak like a fear.
It's difficult, thinking of it as black,
the way the gloss is reflecting the light, or swallowing it.
This bird opening up a crack in its beak to croak like a fear
of sudden movement from unstable lines,
the gloss swallowing the light and throwing it back out
from feathers shifting in breeze like oil under water.
A sudden movement from the telegraph line.
A rearrangement and a crow-sound. Light dripping
from feathers shifting in breeze like oil under water,
the wedge of blue opening between its black beak closes.
A rearrangement and a crow-sound. Light slipping
into the guessed-at hollowness of crow.
A wedge of blue opens, its black beak closes,
a half-gap for something else to get through.
The guessed-at hollowness behind crow-eyes,
tracing the image of traffic passing beneath.
A half-chance for something else to be made sense of
opens. The crow is pure openness. Everything falls in.
There, the morning traffic passing beneath
the crow's shifting lizard eye. I see something opening,
it is open. The crow is pure openness. Everything falls in
and it seems right that the crow be its own repository.
The crow's shifting lizard eye, opening into something.
Thinking of it as black, it's difficult,
but it seems right that the crow be its own repository:
in the sun, its colour is a black that binds.