Thursday, November 3, 2011


After the silent removal
after the silt in the drain
after all that you’d hoped for
deftly excised from your brain
after the cat’s been looked after
and the dog euthanized and the girl
who fed it on biscuits and munchies
quietly removed in a van
and after the garden is watered
and after the Rates are all paid
and after the roof is repaired
and the guy who’s been screwing the maid
and the maid make a suitable marriage
and their kids have all fled from the land
and after the land has been conquered
by carbon dioxide and drought
and the unions are running the government
beyond a shadow of doubt
and the price of energy’s rising
and the internet choking on smut
whose quality is as depressing
as the Stock Exchange in full rout
there will rise from the desert a something
we’d be probably better without
which will amble off into the cosmos
and turn the lights out

- Andrew Taylor

Ed: 'After' will appear soon in The Best Australian Poems 2011. 

Andrew Taylor is the author of more than fifteen books of poetry, the libretti of two operas, and the critical study Reading Australian Poetry (UQP, 1987). He was regional winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize in 1986, and won the Western Australian Premier’s Prize for poetry in 1995. He was born and educated in Victoria, and has lived and taught in various countries beside Australia, most notably Italy, the USA, England, Germany and China. He is Professor Emeritus and Honorary Professor at Edith Cowan University, Perth. His most recent major publications are Collected Poems (2004) and The unhaunting (2009), both from Salt Publishing, UK.

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