Linda M. Walker

end of rule

there was merely one degree each and truly trudging passing
and wanting to wash all the good parts from front and pulling
and going and again going like before tight holding the ground by
gate in case of rain but it’s only Tuesday and already hours over
form standing in years before that room empty after mere knock
evening pulp of a yellow kind instead of grey say across the
shoulders of oh eyed in manner as boat flows on blanket before
end of rule

About Death

Wrote Joyce. “In windy conditions please close the door.” And. “Gentle sweet air blew round the bared heads in a whisper.” A ninety-mile beach. Swarms of tiny black flies. Stink of rotting shrimp. Big blue sky, white clouds, rainbow. Passing Lake Albert. “Thingywhatsit” mentioned way back. Something to do with ‘scales’ and ‘mullet’. Heading home, raining, cold, windy. Nora died when I was one.


Two men at dawn. Waking us for “transporting to the big smoke where you’re from”. It’s the Queen’s Birthday. Bumping along the road to Kingston. Might see the pelicans. And the brown foam along the shore. Flat land. Some things are hard, some things are soft. Tradition only comes with change, says one of the men. It comes in the middle of the night, says the other one. A long conversation about gout. Many newborn lambs. And one amazing sight – jonquils at the start of winter. Sitting at the back of the truck, beautiful dead tree in the paddock. Piles of white stones. Don’t say this, don’t say that. Passing the army in camouflage vehicles with long aerials, lights blazing. There’s lots of madness in the country, he says. Look at the reeds and the eucalypts, says the other one.


I like this low Coorong scrub. Should tell the child what’s inside her. All the bushes and grasses and stones and trees and birds and rabbits and rain. It’s not raining now though. The blue sky is getting closer. A ferry, two blue wrens, two palm trees, five windmills, a river, bamboo, willow trees. Truly rural, I hear. White horse, cross your feet, I hear. A crop of soursobs. Smoke in the distance. An alpaca farm. Lake Alexandrina. Black swans. A man beside a fence in a lime green jumper. The sign said: turtles crossing the road. The River Finnis. We talk about our mother’s deaths.



1. The Video Version
2. North Star Extract
3. Flights Home
4. Three
5. Prayer 4
6. She Is Alive
7. The Seven Poems for ‘Just & Thongs’

They seem to be a house
With little rooms
Narrow beds



After a long slow walk I come to my senses after twenty years the splatter glows in the dark after the storm a thin man bangs on the window after the speech a small girl stands still on the road after the fog rolls in mother takes her last breath

Linda M Walker is a writer, artist and independent curator. She used to live in Adelaide, now she lives in Mount Gambier.
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