Rusticity to Rurality
Rusticity to Rurality, Memorials of a Ramble from Grafton to Glen Innes, 2003.
By Lance Banbury; 20pp; Galaxy Press, 71 Recreation St., Tweed Heads, NSW 2485, Australia.
A book of Correspondences, Wordsworthian and Rimbaldien intonations:
The cathedral city, gaol city too, are passed. It was frivolity!
For here the flickering shadows have vitality and the stray bee reports,
That though touching truth can discipline, it will never spoil.
It seems to me, spoonbills, that you were sent,
To erase mistakes of hymnologic desecration.
As if vertigo were the spent prayers of mountains.
What noiseless dews have fed you in this hard fastness,
Or flimsy butterfly wings have caressed your petals?
Ah, your unconscious power!
Old farm buildings, built of slabs of wood,
Adorned with pink-budding vines,
And a sturdy house gave man propriety there,
While all behind was the backdrop of uncultivated tracts,
Tall timbers of eucalypt and gum and, maybe, pine.
No doubt, tended economy and watchful toil had carved this out.
To right, there seems to be a wren; to the left, a hare.
Co-existence in between the boredom and the frisson.
‘See, I am unified, wherever you go. Plastic fancy seals,
Each aberration and permutation which your soul feels.’
Here, “Castor and Pollux on track” suggests the motivations of a united front, and the last line Julius Caesar:
MEDITATION IN STARLIGHT
Next evening falls and fades and is gone... into night:
A night of ghost gum trunks and sentries half in fright
And fallen limbs, the bars of the bush where sleeping sinks,
Where consciousness pleads unjustly for entrance of what thinks.
Above, the stars sprinkle the velvet, concave black,
With satellites and meteors and Castor and Pollux on track.
Comets in the magico night, on a lawn set on a cosmic embrace,
Blast alone into mysterious legends, leaving a trace,
Of pale things and pre-eminences blazing and unreceding,
As if all the Miltonic host of fruited Eden were reading,
This stealth into their immeasurable vacancies of womb,
Beaconing and glinting in the knowledge of earth’s gloom.
Outlined in the omniscience, the far and near signal points,
Through boughs in the canopy and the wind anoints.
A path veers off from this clearing, beckoning to precipice.
It will not be taken – and the terrific understanding gains impetus.
The silhouetted arches clarify around a solitary ramp,
Leading off into the spangles on high, off to one white lamp.