Mark Liston

The horizon leans forward/offering you space to place new steps of/change. 
Maya Angelou – ‘On the Pulse of Morning’

We all climb hills, 
     leave the callow streets 
for a perfect horizon
     of shifting palette sunshine
ocean cloud empathy
     to breathe the axenic air 
and saunter in quieter moments.

     Stoic shrubs may bud at the edge,
tight like muscle and sinew
     insinuating wilding strength:
so, I am here, but you are not, 
     in our haphazard gallery.

Here we could feel freedom,
     remain anonymous with our past,
like sunlight sunk in shallows
     of silent answers
to questions, like ‘Are we at the end?’

Lookouts, hills, escarpments, valleys are all places where I can see the sky better, and to see horizons. They often allow me to focus on something real and that gives me space when I feel lonely or anxious. Sometimes, I know what is beyond the horizon, sometimes they are hidden because a mountain or valley mist is blocking my view and other times I need the endless horizon which give me a feeling of knowing that I have a future, but doesn’t know what or where it is. 

This short poem aims to open a view of a horizon where perhaps there seems no end—the ocean or a view from an aeroplane. And where the higher the viewing place the more usure you are of the horizon’s end. And the poem may explore the idea of who would be with you when you are seeking the end.

Mark’s poems and fiction are in Australian anthologies: Famous Reporter, Newcastle Prize and Roland Robinson, Australian Poetry Anthology, Rochford St Review and Canberra Times, Newcastle Herald, Wet Ink, Burrow and Verve. He has won three prizes, including Australian Poetry Poem of the Year and was Newcastle Café Poet in Residence 2011-2013.

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