Wednesday, August 5, 2009


This photo was taken in Varanasi near the cow ghat on the Ganges River.

I've been writing about cows for a while. In 2005, I opened my collection The Butterfly Effect with this very short poem. This poem subsequently went into the Best Australian Poems, 2006 anthology edited by Dorothy Porter.

boustrophedon is a method or writing employed in Crete which was written back and forth across the writing surface without any spaces, imitating the way in which cattle are used to plough a field.

Strange tractors

It’s an ancient method of
ploughing– more ancient even than
boustrophedon– two cattle retracing
their steps in parallel lines

No, here there’s not a
straight line to be seen anywhere– chaos
in the shape of two vulval wings–
the butterfly effect

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