Adrian Heathcote


Adelaide, 1966

We settled down
like a newsreel flickering loosely through
a projector.

It was the sun
gave everything that quality of badly geared precision.
This wasn’t light it was surgery—
but done with a saw.

At 108° this was a dead place.
Dried insects littered the window sills like little boats.
You opened the curtains and squinted
at the opaque glare—your space ship had landed

on a tin beach, a powdery sand blew through the
still air.

So we grew inside the zero
with the light pecking away above us like a sea bird.
So we became part of the landscape,
A diffusion of gas through a white mine,

taking pleasure in
secret things.

Games played, hoops chased, the invisible circus seen.


The Garden

Stepping in shadow, grape dark.

Leaves are Sphinx and Hydra, whitened
                with reticular light. I step across mouldering patches

of loam loosened with water

                                            in to a bright bag of other-world.

Ganglia spike out now into Heaven
                                                            fisting a stranger light

                                                                                           and the eye
swims like a
                                                            fat trout
                             in a dew drop.

to be aware                                       is to be insect-like.

                                                            I spin and spin for days

in the wind that blows from this image.



Adrian Heathcote has published in many journals and magazines including Poetry Australia, Meanjin, Southern Review, and The Australian. A collection of his poetry entitled The Cloud Chamber has just been published by Dyer’s Hand Press. It is available exclusively from Gleebooks, N.S.W. Australia.