A Morning Walk

Letter from a Criminal


The Sound in the Abbey

Along the Old Road (using the poem below as a stimulus)

To David Campbell

Staying with you at Palerang.  I walked
Alone in the sharp grey morning through your paddocks,
And in the creekbed, picked up a stone, sculptured
By water to the outline of a heart.
Then climbed the bank and came on a dead fox:
dew on his fur, he lay as if still running.

Later, you and I walked in the sun. Joe Gullett,
The young collie, ran up a leaning tree,
Barking with pleasure.  You too climbed a tree.
No branches within reach: knees, feet and arms
Gripping the trunk, bark-stains on your white trousers
As you slid down again.
And at the end
Of your long strip of earth, there were the graves:
The earliest settlers, quiet under the headstones,
Inside your boundary, close to the old road
Grassed-over many years.  And you grew silent.
Tall powerful body, broken nose, fair hair,
You stood beside me, yet you stood apart,
In a moment’s piety towards the dead, and towards
The earth they knew, and were.
Speech is good,
But silence also.  Let me do and you did.
Standing in thought by your grave, I fall silent.

- Philip Martin

Lady Catherine Recounts

Reply to Darcy

The Messenger 


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