Kerry Tilbrook: ‘Chairman’s Escape’ and ‘The Lost Language’

Chairman’s Escape
for C.W.

Years of work passed amidst the
endless memos and clashing corporate egos.
You longed to feel the light flowing over rocks,
the gleaming eucalypt forests,
as you remembered your jackerooing days
surrounded by the gentle eyes and sweet breath of cattle.

The quick pace of a willing stock horse
travelling precisely along the sandy track.
That day a goanna escaped crashing up a tree
barely a foot from the taffy’s nose.
The horse never noticed, preoccupied
with the homeward journey.

Recalling an earlier and simpler life.
A brief interlude
containing the half-life of memory.

Kerry Tilbrook

The Lost Language
for David

You don’t regret the last utterances
of a vanishing language
which erodes like the silk road
and the memory of those desert nights
where you once embraced clusters of stars.

The murmurs of hurried farewells
mingle with the toothy complaint of camels
those disagreeable, spitting beasts.
Seasickness breaks in hot waves
moonlight would give you silent release.

Now you have no ancient discourse
to recall the glory of Suliman the Magnificent
which is layered under endless sands.
The sadness of those few faded images
gladly traded for the rush of the new.

I remember how you once said
“they are taking over the world”
as familiar temples and garish dragons
erase the memories of more ancient monuments
as the busy inherit the earth.

Kerry Tilbrook

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