Les Murray Poems
Inside Ayers Rock
Inside Ayers Rock is lit
with paired fluorescent lights
on steel pillars supporting the ceiling
of haze-blue marquee cloth
high above the non-slip pavers.
Curving around the cafeteria
throughout vast inner space
is a Milky way of plastic chairs
in foursomes around tables
all the way to the truck drivers' enclave.
Dusted coolabah trees grow to the ceiling,
TVs talk in gassy colours, and
round the walls are Outback shop fronts:
the Beehive Bookshop for brochures,
Casual Clobber, the bottled Country Kitchen
and the sheet-iron Dreamtime ...
Late Summer Fires
The paddocks shave black
with a foam of smoke that stays,
welling out of red-black wounds.
In the white of a drought
this happens. The hardcourt game.
Logs that fume are mostly cattle,
inverted, stubby. Tree stumps are kilns.