Writing & News

Clarice Beckett Visits Sydney, April 1931 by Ross Gibson

As everyone who knows me knows, Ross Gibson is one of my favourite writers, thinkers, filmmakers, and curators. He’s also one of my favourite people. He has written this poem for the audience of this newsletter. For more Ross Gibson work please visit his website.

memory is in everything
thunder is muttering in the sunsetting west
the sky appears plangent, as in a love song,
russet, refulgent,
until it isn’t.

Here yesterday 
shy birds were watching 
a child toiled at practising the walk of a chicken  — 
straining for nonchalance,
umbral with shadow friction
tottering at a thrilled edge to let otherness in.

Meanwhile, in Middle Harbour,
sparkling wake-water plankton 
are pulsing under storm roar.

Shadow scented, all ozone,
the ripples on the sandbanks scatter
a fugitive gleam 
backstopped with surface tension.

Everywhere, inertia is leaching 
under salt spray lustre 
to send a razzle through the shorebreak,
duplicitous — this razzle —
as it limns every separate sight, sound and odour 
that marinate the back end of the farthest dark cove.

“There is another world, of course,”
she says, as if her father were with her,
as if the sun wasn’t setting,
“and no-one says out loud that they think it’s in this one.”