Good-looking young man in your Crimean shirt with your willow shield up, as if to face spears,
you're inside their men's Law, one church they do obey; they'll remember you were here. Keep fending off their casts.
Don't come out of character. Like you they suspect idiosyncrasy of witchcraft. Above all, don't get out
too easily, and have to leave here where all missiles are just leather and come from one direction. Keep it noble. Keep it light.
- by Les Murray20
Us all sore cement was we. Not warmed then with glares. Not glutting mush under that pole the lightning's tied to. No farrow-shit in milk to make us randy. Us back in cool god-shit. We ate crisp. We nosed up good rank in the tunnelled bush. Us all fuckers then. And Big, huh? Tusked the balls-biting dog and gutsed him wet. Us shoved down the soft cement of rivers. Us snored the earth hollow, filled farrow, grunted. Never stopped growing. We sloughed, we soughed and balked no weird till the high ridgebacks was us with weight-buried hooves. Or bristly, with milk. Us never knowed like slitting nor hose-biff then. Nor the terrible sheet-cutting screams up ahead. The burnt water kicking. This gone-already feeling here in no place with our heads on upside down.
Poems by Les Murray, Les Murray's poems collection. Les Murray is a classical and famous poet (17 October 1938). Share all poems of Les Murray.