Les Murray
Music To Me Is Like Days by Les Murray

Music To Me Is Like Days by Les Murray

Once played to attentive faces music has broken its frame its bodice of always-weak laces the entirely promiscuous art pours out in public spaces accompanying everything, the ...

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Predawn In Health by Les Murray

Predawn In Health by Les Murray

The stars are filtering through a treeoutside in the moon's silent era. Reality is moving layer over layerlike crystal spheres now called laws. The future is right behind your ...

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Comete by Les Murray

Comete by Les Murray

Uphill in Melbourne on a beautiful daya woman is walking ahead of her hair.Like teak oiled soft to fracture and swayit hung to her heels and seconded heras a pencilled retinue, an ...

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A Retrospect Of Humidity by Les Murray

A Retrospect Of Humidity by Les Murray

All the air conditioners now slackentheir hummed carrier wave. Once againwe've served our three months with remissionsin the steam and dry iron of this seaboard.In jellied glare, ...

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Poetry And Religion by Les Murray

Poetry And Religion by Les Murray

Religions are poems. They concertour daylight and dreaming mind, ouremotions, instinct, breath and native gestureinto the only whole thinking: poetry.Nothing's said till it's ...

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Bat’s Ultrasound by Les Murray

Bat’s Ultrasound by Les Murray

Sleeping-bagged in a duplex wingwith fleas, in rock-cleft or buildingradar bats are darkness in miniature,their whole face one tufty crinkled ear with weak eyes, fine teeth bared ...

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Inside Ayers Rock by Les Murray

Inside Ayers Rock by Les Murray

Inside Ayers Rock is litwith paired fluorescent lightson steel pillars supporting the ceilingof haze-blue marquee clothhigh above the non-slip pavers.Curving around the ...

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An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow by Les Murray

An Absolutely Ordinary Rainbow by Les Murray

The word goes round Repins,the murmur goes round Lorenzinis,at Tattersalls, men look up from sheets of numbers,the Stock Exchange scribblers forget the chalk in their handsand men ...

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Pigs by Les Murray

Pigs by Les Murray

Us all sore cement was we.Not warmed then with glares. Not glutting mushunder that pole the lightning's tied to.No farrow-shit in milk to make us randy.Us back in cool god-shit. ...

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On Home Beaches by Les Murray

On Home Beaches by Les Murray

Back, in my fifties, fatter that I was then,I step on the sand, belch down slight horror to walka wincing pit edge, waiting for the pistol shotlaughter. Long greening waves cash ...

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The Meaning Of Existence by Les Murray

The Meaning Of Existence by Les Murray

Everything except languageknows the meaning of existence. Trees, planets, rivers, timeknow nothing else. They express it moment by moment as the universe. Even this fool of a ...

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The Aboriginal Cricketer by Les Murray

The Aboriginal Cricketer by Les Murray

Mid-9th centuryGood-looking young manin your Crimean shirtwith your willow shieldup, as if to face spears,you're inside their men's Law,one church they do obey;they'll remember ...

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Performance by Les Murray

Performance by Les Murray

I starred that night, I shone:I was footwork and firework in one, a rocket that wriggled up and shotdarkness with a parasol of brilliantsand a peewee descant on a flung bit;I was ...

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Flowering Eucalypt In Autumn by Les Murray

Flowering Eucalypt In Autumn by Les Murray

That slim creek out of the skythe dried-blood western gum treeis all stir in its high reaches: its strung haze-blue foliage is dancingpoints down in breezy mobs, swappingpace and ...

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Shower by Les Murray

Shower by Les Murray

From the metal poppythis good blast of trancearriving as shock, private cloudburst blazing down,worst in a boarding-house greased tub, or a barrack with competitions,best in a ...

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The Butter Factory by Les Murray

The Butter Factory by Les Murray

It was built of things that must not mix:paint, cream, and water, fire and dusty oil.You heard the water dreaming in its largekneed pipes, up from the weir. And the cordwoodour ...

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On The Borders by Les Murray

On The Borders by Les Murray

We're driving across tablelandsomewhere in the world;it is almost bare of trees.Upland near void of featuresalways moves me, but not to thought;it lets me rest from thinking.I ...

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Amanda’s Painting by Les Murray

Amanda’s Painting by Les Murray

In the painting, I'm seated in a shield,coming home in it up a shadowy river.It is a small metal boat lined in eggshelland my hands grip the gunwale rims. I'ma composite bow, ...

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Late Summer Fires by Les Murray

Late Summer Fires by Les Murray

The paddocks shave blackwith a foam of smoke that stays,welling out of red-black wounds. In the white of a droughtthis happens. The hardcourt game.Logs that fume are mostly ...

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Aurora Prone by Les Murray

Aurora Prone by Les Murray

The lemon sunlight poured out far between thingsinhabits a coolness. Mosquitoes have subsided,flies are for later heat.Every tree's an auburn giant with a dazzled faceand the back ...

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The Dream Of Wearing Shorts Forever by Les Murray

The Dream Of Wearing Shorts Forever by Les Murray

To go home and wear shorts foreverin the enormous paddocks, in that warm climate,adding a sweater when winter soaks the grass, to camp out along the river bendsfor good, wearing ...

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Noonday Axeman by Les Murray

Noonday Axeman by Les Murray

Axe-fall, echo and silence. Noonday silence.Two miles from here, it is the twentieth century: cars on the bitumen, powerlines vaulting the farms.Here, with my axe, I am chopping ...

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The Images Alone by Les Murray

The Images Alone by Les Murray

Scarlet as the cloth draped over a sword,white as steaming rice, blue as leschenaultia,old curried towns, the frog in its green human skin;a ploughman walking his furrow as if in ...

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Towards The Imminent Days (Section 4) by Les Murray

Towards The Imminent Days (Section 4) by Les Murray

In my aunt's house, the milk jug's beaded crochet covertickles the ear. We've eaten boiled things with butter. Pie spiced like islands, dissolving in cream, is nowdissolving in ...

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The Instrument by Les Murray

The Instrument by Les Murray

Who reads poetry? Not our intellectuals;they want to control it. Not lovers, not the combative,not examinees. They too skim it for bouquetsand magic trump cards. Not poor ...

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The Quality Of Sprawl by Les Murray

The Quality Of Sprawl by Les Murray

Sprawl is the qualityof the man who cut down his Rolls-Royceinto a farm utility truck, and sprawlis what the company lacked when it made repeated effortsto buy the vehicle back ...

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Cockspur Bush by Les Murray

Cockspur Bush by Les Murray

I am lived. I am died.I was two-leafed three times, and grazed,but then I was stemmed and multiplied,sharp-thorned and caned, nested and raised, earth-salt by sun-sugar. I was ...

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Water-gardening in an Old Farm Dam by Les Murray

Water-gardening in an Old Farm Dam by Les Murray

Blueing the blackened waterthat I'm widening with my spadeas I lever up water tussocksand chuck them ashore like sopping cometsis a sun-point, dazzling heatlessacetylene, under ...

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Travels With John Hunter by Les Murray

Travels With John Hunter by Les Murray

We who travel between worlds lose our muscle and bone. I was wheeling a barrow of earth when agony bayoneted me. I could not sit, or lie down, or stand, in Casualty. ...

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The Mowed Hollow by Les Murray

The Mowed Hollow by Les Murray

When yellow leaves the sky they pipe it to the houses to go on making red and warm and floral and brown but gradually people tire of it, return it inside metal, and go to be dark ...

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The Harleys by Les Murray

The Harleys by Les Murray

Blats booted to blatant dubbing the avenue direwith rubbings of Sveinn Forkbeardleading a black squall of Harleyswith Moe Snow-Whitebeard and Possum Brushbeard and their ...

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The Sleepout by Les Murray

The Sleepout by Les Murray

Childhood sleeps in a verandah roomin an iron bed close to the wallwhere the winter over the railing swelled the blind on its timber boom and splinters picked lint off warm ...

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The Moon man by Les Murray

The Moon man by Les Murray

Shadowy kangaroos moved offas we drove into the top paddockcoming home from a weddingunder a midnightish curd skythen his full face cleared: Moon man, the first birth everwho ...

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To Fly In Just Your Suit by Les Murray

To Fly In Just Your Suit by Les Murray

Humans are flown, or fall;humans can't fly.We're down with the gravity-stemmers,rare, thick-boned, often basso.Most animals above the tides are airborne.Typically tuned keen, ...

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Science Fiction by Les Murray

Science Fiction by Les Murray

I can travelfaster than lightso can youthe speed of thoughtthe only troubleis at destinationsour thought balloonsare coated invisibleno one there sees usand we can't get outto be ...

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Quintets for Robert Morley by Les Murray

Quintets for Robert Morley by Les Murray

Is it possible that hyper-ventilating up ParnassusI have neglected to pay tributeto the Stone Age aristocracy? I refer to the fat.We were probably the earliestcivilized, and ...

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The Head-Spider by Les Murray

The Head-Spider by Les Murray

Where I lived once, a roller coaster's rangeof timber hills peaked just by our backyard cliffand cats undulated scream-driven round its seismograph—and climbed up to us with an ...

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Ernest Hemingway and the Latest Quake by Les Murray

Ernest Hemingway and the Latest Quake by Les Murray

In fact the Earth never stops moving.Northbound in our millimetric shovingwe heap rainy Papua ahead of uswith tremor and fumarole and shearbut: no life without this ...

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The New Hieroglyphics by Les Murray

The New Hieroglyphics by Les Murray

In the World language, sometimes calledAirport Road, a thinks balloon with a gondolaunder it is a symbol for speculation.Thumbs down to ear and tongue:World can be written and ...

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Nursing Home by Les Murray

Nursing Home by Les Murray

Ne tibi supersis:don't outlive yourself,panic, or break a hipor spit purée at the staffat the end of gender,never a happy ender - yet in the pastel lightof indoors, there is a ...

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Spermaceti by Les Murray

Spermaceti by Les Murray

I sound my sight, and flexing skeletons eddyin our common wall. With a sonic bolt from the fragrantchamber of my head, I burst the lives of someand slow, backwashing them into my ...

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The Broad Bean Sermon by Les Murray

The Broad Bean Sermon by Les Murray

Beanstalks, in any breeze, are a slack church paradewithout belief, saying trespass against us in unison,recruits in mint Air Force dacron, with unbuttoned leaves.Upright with ...

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I wrote a little haiku by Les Murray

I wrote a little haiku by Les Murray

I wrote a little haikutitled ‘The Springfields'Lead drips out ofa burning farm rail.Their Civil War.Critics didn't like it,said it was obscure -The title was the rifleboth ...

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Child Logic by Les Murray

Child Logic by Les Murray

The smallest girlin the wild kid's gangsubmitted her fingerto his tomahawk idea - It hurt bad, dropping off. He knew he'd gone too farand ran, herding the others.Later on, he'd ...

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High-Speed Bird by Les Murray

High-Speed Bird by Les Murray

At full tilt, air gleamed -and a window-struck kingfisher,snatched up, lay on my palmstill beating faintly.Slowly, a tinctureof whatever consciousness isinfused its tremor, andram ...

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Blowfly Grass by Les Murray

Blowfly Grass by Les Murray

The houses those suburbs could affordwere roofed with old savings books, and some seeped gravy at stitches in their walls;some were clipped as close as fury,some grimed and ...

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The farm terraces by Les Murray

The farm terraces by Les Murray

Beautiful merciless workaround the slopes of earthterraces cut by curt hoeat the orders of hungeror a pointing lord. Levels eyed up to rhymecopied from grazing animalsround the ...

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Panic Attack by Les Murray

Panic Attack by Les Murray

The body had a nightmare.Awake. No need of the movie.No need of light, to keep hipsand shoulders rotating in bedon the gimbals of wet eyes.Pounding heart, chest pains -should it ...

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The Cows on Killing Day by Les Murray

The Cows on Killing Day by Les Murray

All me are standing on feed. The sky is shining.All me have just been milked. Teats all tingling still from that dry toothless sucking by the chilly mouths that gasp loudly in ...

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The Margin of Difference by Les Murray

The Margin of Difference by Les Murray

One and one make two,the literalist said. So far they've made five billion,said the lateralist, or tentimes that, if you count the dead.

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