This weekend I performed a marriage ceremony on the Bay at Port Melbourne and was invited for the lunch party. I sat with friends and whiled away the afternoon eating oysters and scallops, followed by beef tenderloin and a late afternoon meringue with cream. No mention was made of politics or climate at our table all that afternoon. In contrast at a poetry reading on Saturday, Harry Laing described a period of obsession with climate change saying he’d been quite un-liveable with. The poems he made of that time are in his latest collection ‘Backbone’ and this one evokes marriage:


it seems the marriage of water and earth
has come apart

I take it personally
like a child
punishing the dirt with my boot

and the rain that was printed inside me
like a parent’s voice I never thought
water and earth would part company

look at these pictures call them bones
the bridal rush of water
down a honeymoon creek

see how flushed the earth looks
back then

inseparable they were
flooding because they loved each other

what’s to stop them getting back together

I ask over and over

Harry Laing