Jacqueline Buswell

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAJacqueline Buswell is a writer and translator, and has worked as a journalist and teacher of English as a second language. She recently completed a Masters of Creative Writing at Sydney University. Speaks Spanish, and is currently studying Italian. Her poems have been published in the Wollongong and Bundanon Poetry Workshop Anthologies, in the journal Five Bells and in other anthologies.





you are at ease in this landscape
of brown grey lines and twisting bark
gnarled deformities on old trees
all dry and crackling in the heat
fallen branches force you into detours
you get lost in the abstraction
you find a sunken billabong
hear the screech and laughter of the birds 

on a full moon night you watch the heavens
and shadows move around the shining bark
small creatures move in the rustling silence
you hear the plaint of the mopoke voice
a house was lost in a bushfire, you re-created
that destruction on a murky canvas 

dawn light opens on a granite rock and you see
the saltbush plain stretching west below
you realise  you have never seen these distances
and a kangaroo is watching you 

the valley turns with swathes of orange  settles to dun
the bird song ceases and you cast about for shade
you realise you’ll have to build it
you’ve seen the humpies, as a child you used to draw them 

you pull together branches, bark and leaves
brushing away termites and spiders
you lean logs against a tree
you never were a builder  but by midday
you are snoozing under your rustic canopy
inhaling eucalyptus. 

when you wake, you begin to paint –
that gold surround of pale blue
the iron red mountain
that mopoke night

                               After an exhibition by Elizabeth Cummings
                               SH Ervin Gallery 2012