Dorothy Hewett

Australian Sunset

The red sun
At the heart of the earth
Flattened out,
A broad quivering jellyfish
On the edge of the river.
Red dissolving sun
Quivering in the eyeballs
In myriads of trembling
Red sunned images
Hot against the blue dark
Swathed hills, silent, dark smooth
Rising from the edge of scrub.
The stubborn scrub, prickly
Dark and colourless
Under the liquid plated sun,
Drying up the earth, the twisted
Scrub, sapless and stern-willed
Against red-plated hunger,
Twisting itself with a stubborn
Utter persistency out of that
Red devouring beast
Balanced on the hills.
The quietness, the all sinking
Of the Australian earth
In to its completeness,
Its jealous persistent
Defiance of that quivering ball,
Leaving it dark, darker than
All beginnings, arid and strong
After the red death
Above the hills,
Sinking into itself
With no relief
But the strange, dark completeness
Of defiance, that continues
Forever, that has lost
All youth, all hope, all greed
All tenderness, and lies
Colourless, dark grey
Huddled under the immense
Burning circle of the sun.
Then sinks into its own
Pain relief, its own dark silences
Beyond all blood and bondage.