Tag Archives: O’Rilleys

Stinson Series – Friday 26th February, 1937

v

His brother carved a farm
at the base of the lamington

range.  That’s where Bernie is
among the black spotted pigs

that remind him of tiger cats
who haunt the mountain.

Herb points his finger
up the valley at last Friday

afternoon’s twin engine plane
entering cloud, trying to climb

the downdraft.
‘That was a week already’.

Bernie didn’t see it fly over that day,
he hadn’t seen the newspapers either;

a santa’s sleigh of a plane,
over Coffs Harbour, Nambucca Heads,

Wauchope, Terrigal.  Spare aircraft
search the coast and hinterland

the army head up
the Hawkesbury, then, oil

spotted off Broken Bay.  All Hopes
Abandoned.  Growing Belief

The Stinson
Plunged into the Sea.

Have you ever had a hunch?  It is logic
I listen to, mostly.  Bernie never called it

a hunch.  He just didn’t
think newspapers have a clue.

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Stinson series – Tuesday 23rd February, 1937

iv

The flask held less than a quart 
they reckoned.  Heavy, for a city man

on a diet of water, his daily exercise 
to keep John alive. 300 yards 

down to the creek; rocks, lantana,
lawyer vine, mama bird eats 

the berries from a walking stick 
palm.  Today took 

three hours to climb back up 
that slope.  

 

Stinson series – Saturday 20th February, 1937

ii

leg bone –
aircraft pipe
through canvas

iii

The cyclone moved
off the mountain, moved off
the coast, retreating
from what it had done.  Air

washed of its haze; buildings
in Brisbane and beyond the Glass
House mountains.  We couldn’t see
our mountain held a secret;

flecks of blue through the canopy,
and wandering planes
never circle
our cries and smokey fire.  Westray
couldn’t wait beside the carcass
of yesterday’s flight, his hand burning
to scramble down gullies.  Gone,
in moments, swallowed by green
just the fading sound of a man slipping
through the undergrowth.

Stinson series – Friday 19th Feb, 1937

i

The pressure drops, the anxious
spin before the storm.  Trees lose
what they can’t hold, limbs 
crack, bring down vines, ferns explode 
and send a squawk up the valley.  
All of this is swallowed

by the howling.  Behind the timber barn,
the girls huddle.  Their udders and fearful eyes 
wait until tomorrow.  Stump to stump, Bernie
crosses the field to the rattling cottage, 
inside, smoke billows
each gust back down the chimney.

Twenty miles west,
below the top of the plateau,
John escapes through a cabin window,
into the rain, pulls out two others
before the engine fuel
takes them all.