Nathanael O'Reilly 🔈
To the north, the wind gathers
heat in the desert, rivers run
dry, empty billabongs crack
under the Summer’s glare,
soil blows from eroded farms,
forms dust storms above the plains.
To the west, sheep graze
on dry brown plains, yearn
for spring rain and fresh green
grass. Farmers patrol fence lines,
kill rabbits, foxes and roos.
Kids catch yabbies in the creek,
rest in the shade of the water tank.
To the east, the hills congregate
into formations, gather beneath
the Great Dividing Range.
Ghost gums and snow gums
dance under the Southern Cross.
To the south, the Southern Ocean
breaks against the shipwreck coast,
batters sandstone cliffs and headlands,
carves caves above rock shelves and pools
sheltering crabs and lobsters, spans the space
between Antarctica and Australia,
nurtures whales, seals and penguins,
reminds us of our insignificance.
About the Author
Nathanael O’Reilly is an Irish-Australian poet residing in Texas. His books include Boulevard (Beir Bua Press, 2021); (Un)belonging (Recent Work Press, 2020); BLUE (above/ground press, 2020); Preparations for Departure (UWAP, 2017); Distance (Ginninderra Press, 2015); Suburban Exile (Picaro Press, 2011); and Symptoms of Homesickness (Picaro Press, 2010). His poetry, published in fourteen countries, appears in journals and anthologies including Anthropocene, Cordite Poetry Review, The Elevation Review, In Parentheses: New Modernism, Ink, Sweat & Tears, New World Writing, Mascara Literary Review, Ponder Review, The Quarantine Review and Westerly. He is poetry editor for Antipodes: A Global Journal of Australian/New Zealand Literature.