(1 September 1950 - 23 January 1998 / Melbourne, Australia)

Antipodean Heads

I wish we could be nicer
like the Americans

instead we are caught
halfway between

a European sense of style
you can always be at home in

& the Aborigines’ knack
of passing the time—they know

that nothing matters too much
between now & forever, unlike

the industrious American
who looks around & sees

that Fate applies her chisel
to his own particular face

so when he stares back at Her
he’s warm & essential

not reaching for a quip or a flagon
because he knows these things
are part of what he is

the way a mountain
is carved with the heads
of his Presidents

& we are left to wonder
what shape another 200 years

will leave Ayers Rock in.

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