Waukivory to the Broomstuff,
the Syndicate to Possum Pie,
places roughly eight miles apart,
with properties stitched between,
Manning Hill to Bulby Mountain
all spoken, in milk times, not labeled.
A lick of asphalt, centering
where every road dispersing home
abandons its bitumen miles short
of the valley’s wheatbag gravel
to vaporize on rear windscreen.
Soon the blue black will edge in
between paddocks where hard-handed work
wore flannel all day. Now
retirement and TV find shade
and blooms are tied for Singapore—
Vocations rising beyond this lull
climb on tractors to the Inland.
Les Murray's "The Signboards" can also be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 4.
Les Murray is an Australian poet, anthologist and critic. He has published
nearly 30 volumes of poetry, including Subhuman Redneck Poems, Translations
from the Natural World, and Fredy Neptune. His many awards include the
T.S. Eliot Prize, and he was named by the National Trust of Australia as one
of the 100 Australian Living Treasures.