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South Country

 After the whey-faced anonymity 
Of river-gums and scribbly-gums and bush, 
After the rubbing and the hit of brush, 
You come to the South Country 
As if the argument of trees were done, 
The doubts and quarrelling, the plots and pains, 
All ended by these clear and gliding planes 
Like an abrupt solution.
And over the flat earth of empty farms The monstrous continent of air floats back Coloured with rotting sunlight and the black, Bruised flesh of thunderstorms: Air arched, enormous, pounding the bony ridge, Ditches and hutches, with a drench of light, So huge, from such infinities of height, You walk on the sky's beach While even the dwindled hills are small and bare, As if, rebellious, buried, pitiful, Something below pushed up a knob of skull, Feeling its way to air.

by Kenneth Slessor
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