Rising

By Sandra Renew
Tim J Keegan

this is how it will be

sand       hills     sandhills     wind
silica sharp     abrading skin like a cheese grater
wind     sand     wind

scarf ends whipping     face covered    clothes anchored to the body with one clenched
hand

this is how it will be

keeping a tomato plant alive
with dregs from a thousand drinks of tea
at every sunrise and every sunset     cup by cup
plant by plant

a feral cat drinks only blood
nests in the heights of a dead tree eyrie
feasts on parrots, denudes the desert
lizard by lizard

no use for words like
lush verdant soaking
no longer in common usage    luxuriant    fecund    fertile     rich
flood    rain    floodplain (no use unless qualified as catastrophic)

bees
frogs
blue blues all the blues

by mutual consent red river gums relinquish life, and, in one suicide pact, die
river beds shrivelling with rustling, rasping dead cicada wings
broken steamers stranded high on the banks like failed Arks
wait for the 100-year flood, every ten years

camels wander the streets dreaming of water
in the bottom of the swales remembrance of green
delicacy of grey whispering grasses     stone by stone abrading
sand dunes rising higher

sea dragged higher by every rising moon
desert moving east on each rising wind
scarcity causing not only words to fail

this is how it will be

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