Kenneth Slessor

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

Talbingo - Poem by Kenneth Slessor

'TALBINGO RIVER'—as one says of bones:
'Captain' or 'Commodore' that smelt gunpowder
In old engagements no one quite believes
Or understands. Talbingo had its blood
As they did, ran with waters huge and clear
Lopping down mountains,
Turning crags to banks.
Now it's a sort of aching valley,
Basalt shaggy with scales,
A funnel of tobacco-coloured clay,
Smoulders of puffed earth
And pebbles and shell-bodied flies
And water thickening to stone in pocks.
That's what we're like out here,
Beds of dried-up passions.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 1, 2010

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