An Abandoned Farm Near Lockhart, New South Wales
The shearing shed is in good order,
and if it strongly smells of piss
and hums with every kind of fly
there is, at least the tools still work.
The heat outside makes me want to die;
in here I’m sure I have already.
Twenty-year-old wool appears
from among the roofbeams when I cough.
There is no black that’s blacker than
a wool that’s changed to black.
I say that we should turn the place
into a working farm museum,
but I try to turn everything
into a museum. Yet still
the moment and the sentiment
are right. They feel so right to me.
Of course they do. I have the hands
and posture of a visitor.
What I’m saying is all ego,
and that’s not what farming is or was.
(According to what I am told.)
It’s selling rather than keeping things,
killing to sell, nurturing to kill,
and letting self-control be nurtured.
(That’s what I’m told by those who know.)
The rising damp eats the dado.
And in the garden by the house,
persevering, unreliant on
the absent gardener: plumbago.