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The Tableland

after Ian Dodd, ‘Mirror Image’ (1975)
 
 
 
High on the tableland,
in a shallow valley, by the entrance
to an abandoned diamond mine
amongst discarded machinery and
 
empty oil drums, a broken
aerial, long past redemption, hums
in the stiffening breeze
above the pillaged cabin
 
of a great earth-mover
beside a darkened tool-shed,  
rusted water-tank
and the tiny lean-to over
 
a latrine on a clearing where,
in an ancient caravan,
the old caretaker and a pair
of visitors drink bourbon
 
and, with stones for money, play
lazy poker late into the night, the dove-
white bowl of the moon low above them
as big as half the sky.

 

 

This poem is in response to the photograph, 'Mirror Image'
by Ian Dodd and forms part of the Shadow Catchers exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales 2020.

Go to David Brooks's profile to read more poems

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Poem Audio

  • David Brooks reads 'The Tableland'