Title: Snakes

Author: Geoff Cochrane

In: Sport 13 Spring 1994

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 1994

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



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Sport 13 Spring 1994


page 19


It will take three hundred years
to clear Cambodia of unexploded mines.
Most of my friends have gone—
to London or Sydney.

In Australia’s tawny wastes
people build houses, carefully assemble
settings of rock and water,
plant saplings with blue leaves.
And lo the water runs or falls
or otherwise imitates the artificial,
Zabrisky Point, its stilts
and black mirrors. Snakes lately infernal,
slim yellow tubes much dyed and printed upon,
admire the baffling water.

A man like a grocer, damp-jowled
and horn rimmed, dangerous captor and killer
(the man who loved a corpse
because of its passive ways),
speaks of his crimes with deference and tact.

Freud defined mental health
as the ability to love and work.