the good soldier by Chris Mansell

on someone else's place
it seems to him the land
slings distance way out
the dirt is dead and
the sky seems twisted
the beat of the stones is wrong
he doesn't know how to say it
there are no words no opportunity
and anyway
what would you say
that you're a stranger
and this doesn't say it at all

he walks with his weapon through the town
and from time to time he sees the luscious curl
of intimacy the uncommon common life
it's dressed differently he can't understand
the language rasping and gargling
another time he'd be an interested tourist
now he's a hunter and the hunted

soon they say
he'll be freed to retreat home
where the earth is vein deep
and when he puts his hand on the ground
he'll feel it beating but now
he can't remember home
though he knows the words well enough
back paddock Steve's paddock the yard
it's just words but now the imam calls
and winds a veil around his senses
and sometimes he thinks he'll never
get back to where he belonged

by Chris Mansell

Other poems by 'Chris Mansell'

dust

Nature

Where edges are

The unquiet city

the beekeeper

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