Sydney Rivers in Pictures and Poetry

Baths and wharf 19 JulySydney has a significant number of rivers and their tributaries which touch the lives of the majority of Sydneysiders.  An e-book captures some of the unique qualities of these ecosystems and the people who live near them. Guide to Sydney Rivers has extraordinary photographs and poems celebrating our rivers.
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LONGWALL by DAEL ALLISON

Longwall: somewhere south of sydney
an unremarkable stream is made remarkable

by its vanished water.
wander your mind on a river, how it refracts

a skipping stone, disappears quicksilver
from your hand, envelops

your plummeting body.
waratah rivulet wrote water’s history in rapid

calligraphic scrawl
mirrored cloud-blow, kingfisher

impetus. it fed the woronora—damnedIMG_6823
for the shire.

now the quick, gleaming bed
is fissured, cracked wide open. dry rust

and ochre. hard landing.
machines craze the subterranean certainties

of rock.
longwalls 20 and 21 of peabody’s mine

chisel ancient strata with new calligraphies.
a shattering they’ll patch

uselessly with polyurethane.
in black flooding tunnels

mudeyes and caddisflies scratch the solid
meniscus, tap vainly

for light. men crack rocks for coalyshattered_river_bed
and rivers shudder.

throw a stone into water, hear only
clatter.

in sydney’s southern catchment lands
an unremarkable stream

is no longer a stream.

River bed cracking

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