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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

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