Kenneth Slessor

(27 March 1901 – 30 June 1971 / Orange, New South Wales)

Mangroves


These black bush-waters, heavy with crusted boughs
Like plumes above dead captains, wake the mind....
Uncounted kissing, unremembered vows,
Nights long forgotten, moons too dark to find,
Or stars too cold...all quick things that have fled
Whilst these old bubbles uprise in older stone,
Return like pale dead faces of children dead,
Staring unfelt through doors for ever unknown.

O silent ones that drink these timeless pools,
Eternal brothers, bending so deeply over,
Your branches tremble above my tears again...
And even my songs are stolen from some old lover
Who cried beneath your leaves like other fools,
While still they whisper "in vain...in vain...in vain..."


Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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