© by John Kinsella (b. 1963)

Canto — Evening
Language: English 
And so I went to the dip in the land
and awaited the shade,  sunset stretched
as autumn, catching bare steel sharply,

limp deflection off painted iron, the child’s swing 
buckling sideways with the cross-breeze, discarded
cotton bud unwinding on its stem

near the clothesline; across the windscreen
of the stranded Rodeo ute, block-mounted,
a ruby and emerald light skitters 

like an advertising logo, a ring of truth
in thin wafts of smoke we barely sense as danger
despite a combustive dry, past witnessings

of what follows such a herald; scrunched
against the stubble, barely-established York gums
speed up their dying, termites mewing,

scorpions, tails up, glowing with the infra red
of prayers, inflicted as we expect infliction
of suffering — to pass, as night will pass...

and light return, the stomach hollow
as night feeders search out day-shade, sleeping,
digesting without a shred of guilt,

a ring of ‘Beati misericordes’ sounding tangents
to our encirclings, heading up the laneway,
up to the road reserve where kangaroos 

gingerly graze and black-faced cuckoo shrikes
strike at lifting butterflies, rip into the young
of nearby species, maybe wagtails’, those up-lifters.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Gordon Kerry

This text was added to the website: 2016-05-19
Line count: 27
Word count: 188