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Black Swan

For aeons, you sailed beyond their dreams
black swan – rara avis – mythical bird
skirting shores unimagined – sailing south
of impossible under aurora Australis on
terra incognita. Land hidden east of unwritten
beyond boundaries of western rationalism
touching extreme borders of unknown
under the rim, round the last curve that
turns the flat world to a sphere between poles
where antipodean aquatics – 
alter-egos of white glide through
inland-flowing rivers where palette-coloured
parrots whistle not sing, where trees shed bark
and leaves do not fall, where wood does not float,
where Venus bends sunlight around the last
arc of the globe, where impossible is shattered,
where swans are black, red-beaked, serpent-necked,
satin-plumed realities wending the watered-veins
of Country flowing to her heart.
Then they came in droves of white-winged
boats from northern lands mapping the
heavens as they’d mapped the earth – taking,
naming, spoiling.
Your swansong rang out then over the land,
over the water – is wailing still
for terra Australis invaded.

Go to Jeanine Leane's profile to read more poems