Paul Williamson: ‘Off the Main Way’ and ‘The weather has changed’

Off the Main Way

Away from the highway
out of sight of Braidwood
bleached rounded boulders dot
mustard-coloured hills
like tombstones to miners who rushed
for gold two centuries ago.
Only Majors Creek is still a working mine.

Charles Harpur wrote nearby at Araluen
when Clerk of Petty Sessions and Gold Commissioner.
Away from greener British fields
and their poetic visions
he found Australia’s first poetic voice
from forests of eucalypts and their life.
The town is slim now
with a small ornate church by the road.
His enduring monument is elsewhere.

Paul Williamson


The weather has changed

A wind storm layers the sunset
above the Brindabellas into a cloud cake
of pink and grey purple.

At this hottest end to Spring
sixty bushfires burn to the north
as when early fires started last year
before three months of breathing smoke.

A while back a thunderstorm hurled
golfball-sized hail that smashed car windows
trashed glass houses
that had stood for decades.

Government politicians still keep their lumps of coal
but don’t show them in public now.

Paul Williamson

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