Venie Environmental Poetry Prize

Local Astronomy by Jennifer Harrison

                              We have our own die-back
              bark-ringed skin
telomeres shortening like rusting ladders
               diminishing rung by rung

                              into grass’s abyss –
               the little splutter a machine makes
(the crème whipped
                the photocopier copying) . . .

                              along the horizon coal ships
                 line up beneath sniff-lines of smoke
bored sailors
                 awaiting the harbour’s green light

                              bushfire ash blows into rockpools
                 darkening the sand in ridges
and along the estuary’s weathered bones
                 limestone soaks up the constancy

                              of strangely exhausted stars –
                 each night a dusting of gauze light
is thrown across the breakwall
                 rocks stumbling into the dark

Here is Jennifer reading her poem:


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