Reptile Relocation

Flipping stones,
in a windswept tussock world,
dotted with Snow Gum oases.
Over a million rocks turned
in this Stone Age raffle.
Don’t dare hope for little whip snakes,
or earless grassland dragons,
but be sure to capture them if they come.

In the lunch room,
grader and compacter drivers
swap tall tales of rampaging tiger snakes.
Wind turbines are erected in the distance.
Water trucks settle dusty tracks.
Aeons after noon,
we stir Lake Avon Road dust.

Beyond Nimmitabel,
kookaburras cackle at wallabies and roos,
playing tip with four wheel drives.
Echidnas and copperheads hide
at every bend in the track back
to our palatial stone and wood cabin.

Underneath murky rumbling skies,
I split wood,
as flame and scarlet robins flit by.
Stormy dusk fades to starry black.
Beside an alpine billabong,
I savour every sip of lager,
like a nibble of black market chocolate
at the height of an epic war.
Joel gestures towards a moonlit chessboard,
in a Melaleuca grove,
Hershel warms up for paddock croquet.
He’s arguing with his invisible caddy.
At least he’s wearing pants now.
The wombats were getting nervous.

2 thoughts on “Reptile Relocation

  1. This is a lovely poem about the outback and how development is destroying it. The last verse didn’t seem to have anything to do with what had gone before. It took me out of the countryside, so I could try and work out why someone didn’t usually wear pants. This was one poem that didn’t need people.

    1. The fact that Hershel was arguing with an invisible caddy demonstrates that he wasn’t of sound mind, which is a general explanation for why he was wandering around outside without pants on. I added a more specific clue. I also made some other changes to the final verse to make it clearer that the poem never leaves the countryside.

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