By Hayley Elliott-Ryan
This poem was shortlisted for the Right Now Poetry Competition, judged by Maxine Beneba-Clarke, Amanda Anastasi and Benjamin Solah. Read the shortlist here.
I voyage from yellow
brick commission housing
in search for the centre
I am a modern day Sturt
I am simple geometry
I arrive on a fixie with fixed ideas
about fixing up the damage done
and look down on the land (and I quote) as a field
which no man has greater claim than myself.
There is no official geographical centre.
No red heartland
only negative equations: Borderlands
categorised with algebraic equations.
‘Truths’ told in shades
made to look like dot paintings
I am Sturt,
calculating the land
I mark a tree and plant a British flag
and gazing upon the earth
the heartland colonised by a picket and a knife
from borderlands I cry
Scratching at dust
To find the inland blue blue sea
In the words of Euclid
Colour assists the mind in researches after truth.
that by Euclid’s day
we seafarers had nothing more
that genocides are waged
the right way.
Hayley Elliott-Ryan is a Melbourne based writer, musician and artist. She is the co-creator and editor of WORDLY magazine. Her works have been nominated for the Judith Rodriguez prize and published in the online journal Writing Evolutions. Hayley is currently completing her honours in professional and creative writing at Deakin University.