Mount Kosciusko - Essay

by Alan Gould

 „Mount Kosciusko” - Essay 

liscSummits threadbare to the sky are home. Particle by particle the rain depletes the mountain, while the joist-loosening wind harangues the world without letup. A minute, a million years, there lives in us an inner eye that makes of time the one capsule.
'Look', it says, 'on slow torsion this hut swims now, no less precarious above the ice than the whiskering rodent that flickers in the harrier's stare'.

We too come here to learn home truths from mists which slide in casual instants between our selves and our little lives. Attend the small, how these walls and ceilings are grimier than a mere year back; an office somewhere has had enough. Overnight the rats found work among our perishables;I felt their claws across my scalp.

So where am I and where are we, when morning returns so clear? beneath us the crust, the mantle adjust, minutely, immensely. This is ours, impersonal beyond the centuries of our longing.

This is why we call the earth's neutrality bitter, our minds on the sky, the common, the faceless, the exterior, which again is blue and seems forgiving, pure to the world's end.


liscFrom the plazas to this valley we move through verbal possession of granite panoramas spilling crest over trough from the blazed allusive skylines toward this recognition, (being aware, like drowners, of the desert-llst, of ridges where the bones do not show, of birds circling for meat) that there is no negotiation with the vigilant stones which last month made breccia in three nights of one who wandered unwary into Spring's sub-zero mouth.

It's here and it's now that our mythologies pale; no giant's teeth, no jaws sunk in those piebald cols, no pit for fallen angels in the sudden charcoal canyons interpret the mantle from which fox, boulder, lover, are all extrusions, incurious of apt comparison, keeping their confidence intact throughout the yearly erosion of metaphor.


liscThere is eye that makes of time one glass. And inches under the heel the stilled Silurian is poised to life and buckle the laminae. Six feet under Seaman's Hut, a skier has come into authentic seclusion, while crumbling bones at Cochrane's Gap move the tribes towards the mineral. the drag on thought is downwara, deathward; the huts, the pawer-stations, ourselves, already contain the evidence to tease remotest intellects.

The meat-bearing harrier soars clear of heath and history, ash against the loveable blue; the creature leaves behind no stain, no tracks and no equivalent. We descend into our gardens, contrive a measure of our times less turbulent and less at home, though night-rain gesturing from the summits melts the window's sanguine outlook, carries the topsoil to the gutter.

Our mornings manage the moist of promise, precarious intervals to replant, to believe in the deeps of time.

Published: 2005 - Four Dire Poems

lisc Alan Gould, one of Australia's most celebrated contemporary poets, was born in London. He moved to Australia in his teens and studied at the Australian National University and Canberra College of Advanced Education.
He has been writing full-time since the 1970s, publishing 23 books, including 13 books of poetry.

Amongst other posts he has been writer in residence at the Australian National University and he has represented Australia at International Poetry festivals.
     Alan has kindly contributed his work and is happy to do so he says, „if it helps toward a finer poetic cartography of our planet”.