when the sky turned black

rapture fire wrapping up a continent in the consequence of constant careening away into carelessness — the charred fragments of millions of years, the indecency of the sky to relent; the tumult of gum trees ; and silent afternoon sounds i still remember, the hum of insect choirs bouncing across the land – the sun a little more golden, a little more holy than anywhere else;; the air a little more clean, a little more rich with sensation than anywhere else — a country that still calls to me in my deepest dreams, some songline screaming out — some prophet, some shaman of aboriginal dreamtime singing this is what you always had coming, when you turn your back on what is holding up your feet;; when you rip the ancient names away from the hillsides, when you tear the ancient knowledge from where it is hiding – in the cracks in the dry soil, in the windswept tumble clouds of dust that swell over the plains – when you plummet into the soil to suck what magma has turned fossils of old magic into your profit ; when you tear through the great barrier reef with ships that slice through coral like so much flesh being peeled — when the conquerers conquer nothing but stolen forgetting / when catastrophe rings like a thunderclap ringing back – no lightning here, but enough smoke to smell who lit the fire in the first place ;; no names for these forests anymore, the ancient or the new ones – now they blend into the night sky, all ash and charred root systems gone silent, no longer speaking, no longer singing the songlines through the continent — where are the songs now — do they travel as deep as the fossil fuels? baked in to the crust – are the songlines safe? can the singing be heard? is it escaped now – pluming up into the great cloud of smoke (the size of europe) — reaching its filthy hand towards the southern cross? caught red-handed, caught black handed – wretching towards the ones who stuffed a pipe into the songlines’ ancient throat, until it gagged, burst up singing flame — and sang until the song ran dry and the sky turned black – the notes drifting back into space like so many stolen stars returning home

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