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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 1, March 2016

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Gerry Jacobson
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


Altitude

All the flowers of the mountain up there wandering the granite tors snowgums tussock bogs sedge and reed and flowers in the water flowers under snow drifts melting crunch of snow as my boot sinks in windy sadness of burnt snowgrass ash dust in the air in my eyes can hardly see the next peak where am I?

altitude
thirteen hundred metres
Alpine Ash
burnt tree trunks
desolate and fierce

Stand on the peak sit down nibbling drink from water bottle rough granite under bum seeing the route how does body know to swing off the peak sway down that ridge curve into the valley wade through the heath bounce over tussock sink down by the stream running water blessed in this droughty land.

alpine daisies
in the tussock
bread and cheese
under the snowgum
shared with a million flies

Up there always forever snatching the moment sun staring from bluest sky blinding harsh memories of winter freezing blundering through snow falling off icy skis whiteout eerie scary comforting at home.

deep night
in silent mountains . . .
I wake
to gentle sunlight
on branches of a snowgum


Author’s note: The tanka "alpine daisies" was first published in Grevillea and Wonga Vine, Eucalypt, Pearl Beach, New South Wales, 2011.

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