Monday, September 5, 2016

Elegy: Kalgoorlie 2016

Elegy: Kalgoorlie 2016
The distance between a Facebook page
and a mineshaft, where vigilantes threaten

to drop the murdered, is so very small.
Behind screens is only part of the damage,

it’s when bigots emerge from self-
illumination, self-images in their eyes,

that it all comes together: the running down,
the killing, the justifications. In a mining town

the burrowing down to what might be at the core
of belief is also an attempt at erasure: to mine

away souls. But desecrators unearth
their own demons, digging deep to find

the white goods they desire: as Dr Plot
conjectured in 1667: ‘lapides sui generis,

naturally produced by some extraordinary
plastic virtue, latent in the earth...’ this fossil

record we turn ourselves inside out for,
reaching too low. And so, frontiers

are made on the field of the screen,
and Kalgoorlie — out there — epicentre

of the goldfields, cutting edge of race riots,
Superpit-proud of the venal seams in the Aussie flag,

flexes its Midas touch on God’s Own Country
while a dead boy’s family grieve and grieve and grieve.

            John Kinsella