On Driving Down North Jindalee Road

Hazel Hall
One mellow afternoon I drove alone 
after we'd been reading poetry.
Deciding that I'd take the long way home,
I chose the track around North Jindalee.
No other vehicle was on that road
and I could rattle through the gravel, free
to wonder as the sun touched tiny stones 
and nuzzled yellow leaves on poplar trees.

Two magpies on a fence were swapping notes,
swallows were preparing to take leave.
Lorikeets with sapphire-coloured throats
swung on a willow’s long kimono sleeves.
In that instant sheep wore golden fleece 
then daylight left me wrapped in twilight’s peace.

     amazing grace—
     wayside unveilings
     of the divine

Contextual Essay: North Jindalee Road runs off the Olympic Highway near Cootamundra and connects to Burley Griffin Way at Wallendbeen. Due to its narrow width and uneven surface, it is seldom used by cars or trucks. This road has always been a favourite road of mine, because of its therapeutic beauty and the chance of seeing all kinds of wild life. I always have a feeling of spiritual wellbeing when walking or driving there.

Hazel Hall is a musicologist and widely published Australian poet. Her latest poetry collections are Step by Step (Picaro Poets 2019), Moonlight Over the Siding (Interactive Press 2019), Severed Web (Picaro Poets 2020) and a verse drama Please Add Your Signature and Date It Here (Litoria Press 2021).



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