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To celebrate our 75th birthday, we’re presenting exceptional works from Meanjin’s past that have defined and challenged Australian literary culture.  >

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Waiting for the Train

Craig Billingham

Poetry by Craig Billingham

I have thought myself
inside a painting by Jeffrey Smart
where I am richer


and infinitely more
composed. Calm
in the stillness of bad weather—


a storm
captured at the point of passing,
a foreboding sky


cracked open by the sun.
I do not know
what will happen—


I feel uncommonly small
yet hopeful.
My cohabitants


are tightly packed
within themselves—
they hum


a prayer of their containment,
a dampened music.
I close my eyes


and silence comes,
released
as though from deep


within a bed of sandstone—
it seeks to claim me.
Paused,


forever imminent,
and the world
on my lips
     feels massive.

© Craig Billingham

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