The Bruce

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Books - Mike Ladd

Even at one hun­dred and ten with the John But­ler Trio on loud you can still hear the ci­cadas when the win­dow’s down. Above the Chris­tian Re­vival Camp a swelling thun­der cloud pro­claims God’s muggy coun­try. Re­peater sta­tions, the tallest flow­ers in the for­est, trans­mit the Word. At the cross­roads the sky sweats, a house stands bi­b­li­cally alone in

the clear­ing — un­der its stilts lies the snake and in the frangi­pani’s shade. Kanaka ghosts stack dry- stone walls, Brah­mins chew the cud deep in their Deep North and mango sell­ers splash the cane’s

green world. Sud­denly the traf­fic is stop­start in mist. Over the slip­pery ridge, a chain col­li­sion: five new wrecks, metal rain­bows, blood- warm air.

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