NATURAL ORDER, OUTBACK TOWN

Glen Hunting
How many feel bound 
to explain or excuse the howls 
that flay these streets,
forgetting the wordless censure 
they apply to the same,
and then shrink back from?

So presumptuous to ennoble, 
to intuit the strains of a wilder,
freer past in those audible slashes
(if you go back far enough). 
The myths are colonial spoils
like the mountains and streams,
as convenient as the splitting
of kinships from Country.

So easy to aid and abet 
the relentless withholding, 
to shrug at the spot fires
of rage that abate, or erupt 
beyond pity and remorse—
crushing forbearance, 
desecrating blood mutuality.

So blinkered to write off 
the carnage as primal disorder,  
not lay the charge elsewhere, 
when invasion or cohabitation 
can’t alter the Law, or erase 
its protections and duties.

It is everything solemn, 
sustaining and vital, elemental
to all it surrounds or imbues.
It nurtures the inner environs 
of those who keep and are kept
by the same: process and spirit
united, eternal. Essential.

Crying havoc with the wine
in a laneway, or granting
concessions to broken custodians,
should be as tin whistles against 
that implacable clarion. 

Note: An earlier version of this poem appeared in Recoil Twelve, Mulla Mulla Press, 2020


Glen Hunting is a poet, dramatist, and short story writer from Perth, Western Australia (Whadjuk Noongar boodjar), now living in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), on Arrernte country. His writings have appeared in Portside Review, Recoil Twelve, Creatrix, Burrow, Dotdotdash, and elsewhere. When not writing, he works for a service provider on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.

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