Backyard Listening by Coral Carter

"Backyard Listening is a very Australian collection in tone, theme and breadth, a physical and psychic feast deeply steeped in the Australian milieu encompassing the rural, urban, suburban and desert, delivered with muscular energy and unswerving directness. It is sharp, unsentimental, sometimes as harshly beautiful as the landscapes it inhabits, it is evocative, full of rich soundscapes and held throughout with a strong empathic core. This is a personal and communal journey through Australian histories and herstories, where the empathic voyeur in the Backyard Listening is there as witness. " — Julie Watts

 

one morning when

 

one morning when

the clothesline was strung with water beads

the power line was hung with galahs

 

I saw …

 

a black shouldered hawk hunched

on a lookout post

a hoodie of clouds pulled over his head

hunting birds grow thin in winter

as reptiles sleep the cold away

and small birds hide from rain

 

I saw …

 

a grey and white cat squashed on the highway

between bush and streets

its belly full of natives

clawed from lower branches

its greedy guts mashed into well-kept fur

a grind of mince under CAUTION WIDE LOAD wheels

the head still intact

popped eyes stared in the direction of a fireside

 

Coral Carter


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