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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 2, June 2016
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Sandra Renew
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia


December Flight to Queensland

Today, I am travelling to a place of family, but not home. As we land, in transit, there are pelicans on the runway and the plane is diverted to an alternative tarmac. A child is lost in Terminal B.

at the airport
crouching for connection
along the walkwaysv
youth feed their devices
at random power plugs

The café bar has a queue of two, fly in-fly outs, in hi-vis vests and dusty boots, waiting for designer coffee, the talk aggrieved, anxious: coal seam gas, fracking and farm gates locked, politicians crying wolf . . . and what about their jobs, if the boom is bust? And the never-ending drought . . .

In an eight seater plane, two propellers, we drone over crying scrublands, contaminated water catchments, all of it drought-dry. There were localised showers a few months back. Tantalising, hopeless. The idea of rain feels like a one-trick pony. Things are worse than they look.

rain runnels
clinging to Perspex
propellers blur . . .
these drops will evaporate
before they reach the ground

fracking cracks
in the Artesian Basin . . .
man knows his science
but is yet to learn the spell
for seeding clouds with rain

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