Span: Journal of the South Pacific Assoc for Cwlth Lit and Language Studies
Number 32, 1992
Edited by Jenny de Reuck & Hugh Webb

John Kinsella


The artist Arthur Boyd
was granted a vision:

he watched an angel
watching Adam and Eve kissing

he watched as a ram at their feet
watched back, remaining silent

he watched as a deformed
nightjar elevated itself

on thinning legs and pretended
to go about its business.

it did not cross the angel's mind
that his robes had been consumed

by the soft blood that comes halfway
from the heart, that Paradise

was glowing with the embers
of his trance, smouldering

with the passion of Eve's hair, Adam's
desperate grip on her bare back;
nor did it occur to him
that Lilith may have been

instigating her riot from beneath
his cloth, between the eyes of the ram

and the ruminations of a nightjar
so effectively disguised


A ringwallbilder cloud tethered to hills
by a deadtree scaffold peers through a goldburst
of wattle, footlights of cowslip, and casts
its shadowmaze out over the coast
to bring the sand-patterns of beach,
the whirls of grassed foreshores and mimeographed
limestone, into the territory of gulls.
Love settles beneath a gazebo - a pagoda
of the next enlightenment.

And in the flights
of red sails familiar circles are cut
between mushroom-buttressed islands and tinsel
beaches, charter craft carving their money's
worth out of the skittish surface,
cutting the circles, splicing pleasure and foam.

New: 30 December, 1996 | Now: 11 April, 2015