The Air in Tasmania

This green heart, afloat
in Earth’s more-watery half,
bears like everywhere else
its lacerations, but the land
takes flying lessons from the air
and the air’s great cleanser, the sea.

That cry in the near-dark
has yet to be identified.
Open the window and listen.
It comes to us
like the earliest memory
when we lay with no name
at creation. But the world is not
dew-wet and new. The continents
are islands too, dividing like cells
in a microscope.

Between here and Patagonia
titanic volumes of air,
the whorls and currents
cover the distances
known to the whales
and migrating birds.

We share it with bush,
the lizards, the fish, the green
rosellas coasting up to a limb—
from person to bird and back
to a person writing late at night
when the light of extinguished stars,
having crossed an even vaster sea,
can still be seen winking
in the same abundance
we are given to breathe.

David Mason

David Mason

David Mason is an American writer living in Tasmania. He was poet laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2014. His most recent books are The Sound: New and Selected Poems (Red Hen) and Voices, Places: Essays (Paul Dry Books).
David Mason

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Author: David Mason

David Mason is an American writer living in Tasmania. He was poet laureate of Colorado from 2010 to 2014. His most recent books are The Sound: New and Selected Poems (Red Hen) and Voices, Places: Essays (Paul Dry Books).