Almanac Poetry: ‘Saw Repairs’ and ‘Jesus Shadow’ – Tommy Mallet

 

Saw Repairs

 

Two kids leaning out of a parked ute’s sunroof,

hold their fingers in peace signs

at traffic, with earnest faces

of future truck drivers.

 

Knee steering, I give them two back,

with the same expression.

 

The one to the back cheers deliriously.

 

The one in front

just nods

with wisdom.

 

 

 

Jesus Shadow

 

After eight hours of weed control

walking the steep coastal hill plateaus,

everything yellow grass and silver ocean,

I drop the spray pack and myself on a western slope

in long-grass and chemical stench.

 

It feels good, to have earned something,

even if it’s just falling down.

 

Looking up, through sweat,
for the first time in hours,
a female wedge tail cuts across

 

the never-ending blue,

riding rising-currents, slipstreams,

making a labyrinth of the wind.

 

Watching feels like falling,

as it drifts into and out of the sun,

painting me with its Jesus-shaped shadow.

 

For that second, I feel the saving cool

of shelter,

before it slowly spirals away,

through the valley

beneath us,

dominating the view, until shifting to right angels,

showing a design

so streamlined,

it almost disappears.

 

There’s still about two hours work to do;

 

Bathurst burr, Scottish thistle,
blackberry, ragwort…

Amine 625, Pulse Wetting Agent, Axeman 600

(a Garlon 600 derivative)…

 

Something for every feral species except
cats and us.

These poisons we wage war with to keep

things right.

 

Soon, I’ll take the luck of eagle’s shadows

down to the pub,

 

via a dusk swim
in good sized waves,
that make lie of the day’s still calm.

 

 

 

More from Tommy Mallet can be read Here.

 

 

 

 

More poetry from Almanac Poetry can be read HERE

 

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