Number 11, 1952

Number 11, 1952

Watching them raise across the plain
in time to dead stop my dent of car
on the Alpine Way
In the middle of nowhere somewhere
hundreds of brumbies in vermin gallop
their seeing nonchalance
Passing me in their own time lost
heads tossing eyes askance watching
foals and predators
As I gasp a forlorn unbid admiration
the herd wild over the sealed highway
fate unbalanced sown
The bunched Pollock splashes up close
breaking out of the windscreen sight
dusty spills now left side
The southpaw ranges a summer aluminium
feeding out of the meadow daisies
the fan belt beating heat
Long before the helicopter blades
the cold metal of culling spent shells
all new litter
No city to transform this distant century
out there we felt the glide grind hard
in arboreal nationalism
Decades later standing before the Poles
feeling all ‘isms subside the magnetism tip
the lead compounded spilling
Within indigo spouts eight boundaries
my eyes riding side saddle rushed along
the breaking margins neigh

Number 11, 1952 ‘Blue Poles’ National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

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