new south wales

Bigger than Texas

the earth will take back

in heat and ordure

the shredded plastic bags

and bottle caps.

 

unbeautiful bits of nature

pond dust, saline scum and

damp piles of leaf and blossom scrofula

look like horror

brown-shiny beetles and chokey cockroaches

creep slow on sickly stick-legs

 

they take back the dirt

one insect footstep at a time while

seahorses attached to Q-tips

and seagullpigeons in rubber bonnets

are not raging like us

no

they merely persist

hoping to discover

that rubbish-island in the sea

the size of New South Wales

(because it’s bigger than Texas now)

– must be terra nullius for them

 

 

This poem was inspired by the novel Arkady (need to get back to polishing up my own dystopian story one of these days!) And also somehow by Singapore (pictured), a place where the lush fecundity of nature mashes with the nasty detritus and pollution of human industry.

 

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