After Nolan

Artwork by Sir Sidney Nolan
we’re all shadows here
        strung flat and powerless
          under that searing whip of blue

you can see where
the land has rusted
   shrugging sunsets into itself
heat upon rabid heat
such patriotic decay
windmills like stark flowers
measure decades in their browning
and their screech
         (skinned metal)
          bleeds into every afternoon

we built our tiny huts, dark ovens
to cook our souls and our wives
and we fenced in hope
post-and-rail sprigs,
repeated horizons

we’re all shadows here
scrub-battered and shiftless
and we must lean 
borrowing the long foot of the wind

21 thoughts on “After Nolan

    1. THank you! Ekphrastics have become an occasional go-to when my head is empty of writables. I have to think you and K Hartless for opening up the world of art to me as an area for inspiration. I’m kind of excited about exploring Australian art while I do it. I’ve never been good at galleries but this is fun and might actually provide a more engaged attitude to galleries.


    1. Dude, you just undermined my best line! 😉 But then I realised that even Aussies wouldn’t build a windmill in a place with no wind. That wind poofs right in from pretty much any direction and there’s nothing to stop it. But you’re right that Nolan’s painting doesn’t exactly embody movement of air. I just imagined that bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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