Harold and Owen 1923

by Erin Lucy Gill

The Crossroads

Schoolhouse semblance out the front,

smiles all blazing through squints,

melaleuca backdrop casts no cover.

A final edition to your sombre album,

the ashen portraits set the tone.

Slate and dove grey,

scoured for transparency,

your likeness,

your siblings,

your seeming.

The smart blazer strains,

faded, stood-still image in the glare.

Dead centre,

a furrow with simper grin,

arms crossed, marks the spot.

My gaze expected acceptance or redemption,

but it’s an intersection I perceive.

The crossroads,

Lo and behold!

You, the celestial,

and then the earthly me.

25 Chains

The garden at the banks of the lagoon,

25 chains from the house.

The house in East Marrawah,

of Mother and of Father,

Mr & Mrs Thos. Marshall,

who are farmers.

The day was Sunday,

sacred and hot.

The mercury,

they said, they were out of their depth.

The chronicle of particulars obtained;

Between 1 and 2,

3 of their 8,

14, 11 & 7.

Intentions of having a look,

looking ’round.

The little garden,

25 chains from the house.

But the big boys bathe,

lads lost in a damned lagoon.

Tragedy, as they all said.

The worlds view shared,

but on Monday.

Lead Letters

Home in the glory,

awaits the faithful;

a kingdom of radiant clouds,

veils of certitude in their existence.

The lead letter epitaph reads at rest,

loved sons accidentally drowned,

inscribed in loving memory

upon this dreary monumental marble plaque.


a crypt left to decipher.

Worn  and weathered,

punctuated by the marks of departed serifs.

A relic,

once immortalised in stone,

now forever woven,

in the web of modern troves.

The enduring,

haunted by uncertainty.

Questions raised from the dead,

lead letters left unanswered.

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