Things, in places

Issue FourteenIssue Fourteen PoetryPoetry

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things, in places

Maria Griffin


a thing.
behind it: another.
there, a third. three things sit, each in its place,
as if arranged, pleasingly matching
in size and shape,
colour, material,
texture, space,




who did this work?

I like things placed like this.
I like how things are in places.
I can’t do this scene any other way.

put your

put your feet on the ground. take off your shoes. close your eyes. you are here. in this
space. or. where? somewhere. you are the first one, somewhere. you are the
discoverer of an unknown land.1 imagine. you are. from here. or to here. walking.
toward, around, between some things. in a place. winding around objects, in a figure
eight. wonder at how it feels. inside. outside. up above. underfoot

underfoot the grass is green, damp, cold, spongy, and

three things. trees, in this place.
three greens, green, in this space. cold greens, damp greens, olive greens, deep.
green like the green of other olive-coloured things.
eucalypts, olives. from here, growing.
here a tree; there, a space,                 there, another tree, so neatly placed.
planted, some; others: wild. near me, three.
one, one, and one other, all waving at me.


noise-making things.
things, screeching. things, chirping. things, quacking. things, cawing.
AAR! AAR! AAR! – it’s a constant cacophony.
of things in the trees. things in the mountains. things in the sky. things in the pond.


a white cockatoo launches from a tree, heads towards hidden things.
flying, shaking, undulating things.
crawling, swimming, slithering things.
things, many. things,
hidden, in other things
–       in the trees, the grass, the pond. hidden
under things
–      the ground, the sky, the grass. hidden
–       the mountains, the clouds, the trees [cut these later]
hidden things. as far as the eye can see.
open one,
look around. think
how many trees here, once. how many
birds. imagine
the stillness. intense. the noise.
ceaseless. at least, try
to see. in your mind. how it was. for the first ones that came here.



now, I see, hear, feel: things happen. are happening. here, always. things seen +
unseen are in constant motion, here, always. things similar or dissimilar in size + form
+ shape + texture + material, come from – where, or are – where?

a flock of

a flock of cockatoos flies toward the mountain. each thing comes and goes
to/from/around/near/through/past some other thing.
from where things?
from of things?
“from” = a point in time or space
where. now. I. look up, into the sky.
things in my direct line of vision pass by.
four things. seven things. eight things, fly.


a breeze rises. tall eucalypts flail everywhere. bushes wobble, arms waving wildly.

“help! help!” these things. happen. here, where I’m writing. take a photo. it’s too two-
dimensional. too-too dimensional. toot toot!

think of stiff green leaves growing on a twig. bottle brush, brown buds, blowflies
buzzing. sun. shining. grass. blowing. crows cawing. cockatoos, floating.
all of this is – where? somewhere. between flocks of cockatoos moving slowly in the
distance toward the death of my brother, my white, grey, olive green little brother.
time is missing or is it everything? time has been flying from the trees to the
mountains, and will again tomorrow, and the day after that. the time before, the time
we had, the time that has passed, the time I got the time wrong. for a moment, I
thought time was frozen forever in a single infinitely brief instant.2 a prehistoric

and still,

still. white dots drift slowly across the dusky blue background, like how many birds,
like how long ago, like all the things that have happened, like a sort of vision.


there are differences, after all. at the back of three, one bush undulates gracefully. I
seem to be comprised of small branches, curly tendrils and wind; flying, chirping, and
screeching; winding my way in a figure eight, through – something. three objects in a
space, and me, here, too, writing about – something. life. as if I can convert it into
words and make it large
enough to look around in.
these three things are right here, now. I am here. now. light is moving, still. shadows,
grass, behind, around, tones, shades, olive greens; wind, and constant motion.

It’s all here, you just have to look.

I look. again. at
dusky purple distance.
white dots, flying. longdistantly.
slowmotionly. to
somewhere. all the way from
somewhere. far from
here. where I