Aerial legs sprout splayed feet. Skin-linked to land-sun-sky
dancers slide under, over and through each other’s curves and caves.

It’s Jive Time in the fifties
and the Mother Fucker Country
wants space to quietly detonate a bomb.
The Cold War’s clouding an atmosphere
so yellow the stuff’s puffed up in the desert
where no-one lives so no harm’s done.

The smoke machine’s in overdrive. We inhale it from the aisles.
Hunch down, crouch low to escape the pressing shroud

…………but particles drift…….from the plan to the plain
shaken in a silent windstorm……..settling over water holes and
………….…all that………breathes.

broken weeping ulcerated seeping
branded with cicatrix and radiation burns.

No-one’s in the desert so no harm’s done.

* Bangarra Dance Theatre’s response to nuclear testing
on Maralinga Tjarutja traditional lands in Central Australia
in the 1950s.


Robyn Lance

Robyn Lance’s poetry has enlivened walls and Canberra’s buses. Publications include Best Australian Poems ‘08 and ‘05; The Canberra Times, Island, Quadrant, FourW, Poetrix, Five Bells, LiNQ, Meniscus and Narrator. Her awards include: 2014 ACT Writers Poetry, 2013 JC Drake Brockman Poetry (shortlisted), 2010 artsACT’s David Campbell Poetry (aeq), and 2009 Veolia Creative Arts

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