Shoes Once Shod in a Blacksmith’s Shop
Shoes once shod in a blacksmith’s shop
rust on hooves lying on the rough edge
of a paddock, horse skeletons
mingle with broken hoppers & elevators
& the iron-ringed wheels of surface strippers –
sprouted grain thick on the
ground, like chemically stimulated hair.
The warped screens of a seed cleaner
buried to the knees in clay and salt, snake their
way up towards the stunted fruit trees’
low-slung fruit like apodal spirits in a venomous
light – winter at their heels. Inside the shed
the bellows groan in their frame
of blackbutt & mudbrick, the coal for the fire-
box lies scattered like shoddy talismans,
& the anvil sits sullenly, a dead lodestone.
Figures in a Paddock
In their wake the furrows,
partings in long grass,
burrs hell-darning their socks
like recovered memories.
Parallel to the fence – star pickets
mark depth, interlock mesh
letting the light and visuals
through, keeping the stock
in or out – like religious tolerance.
Down from the top-road to the creek,
arms akimbo, driven against
insect-noise, a breeze that should
be rustling up a performance.
Towards the dry bed, marked
by twists and shadow-skewed
runs to colour like bad blood.
The sky is brittle blue,
foliage thin but determined:
colour indefinable beyond green.
They walk, and walking makes history.
And tracks. All machinery.
The paddock inclines. A ritual of gradients.
Ceremony. Massacre. Survey.