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Poetry Pleases: Images Of Kal - Winter

Lorraine Dodd's bleak poem is inspired by a painting by Robert Jumper,

Brown dirt, red earth
Easterlies blowing zero degrees,
Relentless
straight from the desert.

Uncluttered sky
holding a deceitful sun,
its warmth found only
behind hidden walls, panes of glass.

We hurry inside,
seek shelter, seek comfort,
escape the bleakness,
turn on the heater,
watch from the window,
the persistent cold
enforcing its presence.

By noon all is still
the world slumps into dormancy
without growth: invisible flowers,
saplings just existing.

In the centre
into the core of the earth,
men descend on a rickety platform,
lowered into a chaos of
drilling, clanging, rumbling, shouting;
of surreal light and seeping water.

This is the heart.
A never-ceasing beat of industry.
Semi-naked men labour in the heat
extracting the precious metal
that promises riches.

A wailing siren: change of shift.
The men are lifted up onto the surface.
The countryside is quiet,
serene in desert colours:
cold cold draughts of air.

They ride the workers’ trams,
hurry to their houses,
commandeer the warmest place
then gaze out at the dormant,
almost arid world,
waiting for winter’s release.


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