‘And Rise Again’ by Michele Slatter
This topsy-turvy land,
This palimpsest, where north is south and night is day
And water swirls down drains the other way
And incomers, defying all their senses,
Inscribed a calendar with no pretence
Of recognising seasons of the local year,
Celebrates Easter just as autumn’s here.
The days grow short, the nights grow dark,
The colours fade as harvest, vendage, cropping mark
The end of growth, a rest, a pause, a cycle
In hibernation phase: the archetypal
Time of Pluto who, with horses black,
Welcomes Persephone as she comes back
To Hades. Demeter, her grieving mother
Withholds her bounty under winter’s cover.
So celebrating resurrection and new life
As nature falls into its darkest phase
Could seem perverse, ill-judged and out of place,
Driven by habit and commercial gain.
But 2020 is not any year. Do we still want the same
Pre-hibernation life or seek some change?
Perhaps remake anew our polity
To rise again: ‘fair go’ revived; less inequality?
Michele Slatter lives in Adelaide. Educated at Durham University and University College London, she is a semi-retired law academic who has written extensively professionally and continues to undertake consultancy and research. With time to do so now, however, she also enjoys the adventure of writing ‘faction’ and occasionally poetry, and is a member of an active writers’ group.