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Kangaroos - The 100 Days Project Day 17 [84]

The Cull

Photo: TBP

Tired and reluctant this

evening on the desert’s edge I

pick up a pen again, don’t

know if I have a poem in me but maybe another

appalling list, the news just to hand

of a cull of camels a long way from anywhere

but perhaps they are taking precious food from cattle or are simply

too hard to muster for export; one million apparently,

and the Prime Minister has signed off on the program put up by the famous

rock-star-turned-politician, on the back

of the ‘culling’ of 6000 kangaroos on

Defence department land six weeks ago, word

of a ‘cull’ of wild horses in Queensland and the news 

that the New South Wales government is about to approve

‘recreational’ shooting in National Parks as if the murder of a wild

goat or pig or kangaroo were somehow a re-creating of anything other

than the primal crime of Cain; all this alongside calls

to ‘cull’ koalas, cockatoos, galahs, rosellas, Indian Mynahs, ibises, feral foxes,

crocodiles, cane toads, dingoes, water

buffaloes and almost any other thing that

bites, or shits on washing, croaks or sings too loudly in the early morning, all our

xenophobia our racism our fear of others, the inside-turned-outward of our

horror of the different – so

no, no poem, not even

a diatribe, only a small

and private screaming-place, a cull-de-sac, a

ghostly Valley of the Lost, or museum

of referents, full of whispers, ghost-snort and ghost-pad and

shuffle under the coming starlight, coughs of the night’s

departing, sound

of the trees’ the sand’s





David Brooks, 2009

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