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Making Crop-Circles by Damen O'Brien

Making Crop-Circles

Wheat can’t worship on its own, or stocks stoop

to genuflection or haj, neither mandelbrot nor mandala.

The wheat won’t lie down in despair, in prostration,

ear into air, coil and spiral, mazed with live circuitry. 

The wheat has no agency, Earth won’t speak.

All across the fields of Hampshire, before the thresher 

comes, the newspapers found ripples like a spray of missiles, 

tattoos tamped on new-grown crops, alien geometries and 

leafy hieroglyphs, an arbitrary smattering of stamps,

extra-terrestrial chops and signatures. Crop-circle days.

Giggling and stunned with beer, our neurons flashing like the

messages of stars, we’d stagger after last drinks to make

dazed bracelets, bomb waves, laid out crop-circles,

string-and-broom-handle art installations, so the world

could wake to signs and omens struck in wheat.

When the joke was over and we took The Expert down, 

stomped and flexed the field, gently buried all his theories, 

he denied that we were the whole story: someone had wrung

a bell beyond the corners of the world. We were just the ear 

that heard, the dim echoes rolling through the summer wheat.

Damen O'Brien is a multi-award-winning Australian poet. Damen's prizes include The Moth Poetry Prize, the Peter Porter Poetry Prize and the Newcastle Poetry Prize.  Damen's poems have been published in Cordite, Southerly, Poetry Wales and many other journals.  Damen's second collection of poems, Walking the Boundary, is available now through Pitt Street Poetry.


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