Kurt Vonnegut


The earth is so heavy 
it can crush 
weeds into diamonds. 

Some mornings 
the weight of it all
even after orange juice 

and a sharp talking to 
is more than enough to 
squeeze the juice out of me. 

Some mornings I have to
wait for the weight to lift 
just so that I can do 

all that is required. 
Perhaps though
even with the help 

of coffee I have it all 
wrong. Maybe all of us 
are waiting 

for the weight to shape 
us crystalline bright 
sharp and precious.

Kurt Vonnegut

As far as I know, 
Kurt Vonnegut 
never saw Uluru. 
On the day he died, 
in New York, 
probably squinting 
into a cloud of 
Pall Mall smoke, 
I was squinting 
in front of 
that huge desert stone. 
It was all fire-red 
in the last minutes 
of the day. 

Some Germans 
who were also there, 
watching beside 
their rented motorhome, 
had the news of his death 
on their radio. 
They had never heard 
of Mr. Vonnegut 
although they were 
from Dresden, 
the city where 
he hunkered down 
and became a novelist. 
That place lit up 
all fire-red 
in the last minutes 
of the war.

About the contributor

Paul Turley of Adelaide was born in Wales, mostly raised in Adelaide, and is now living here again after some years in other places. He is currently studying for a Master of Philosophy degree through the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Adelaide.

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