Issue > Poetry
Justin Lowe

Justin Lowe

Justin Lowe currently resides in a house called "Doug" in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, where he edits the poetry blog Bluepepper. His Selected, Days of Wine and Bruises, 1996-2016, was released in 2016. "Cold Mountain" is from a new collection, The Picketer, due to be released later this year. 

Cold Mountain


there was a village on a hill somewhere.
the snow line crept up over its gables year by year.

a steep precipitous drop
to the next village way way down

there in the dank bleating lowlands.
you could follow the path of the stones baked loose by the sun.

the crows
seemed to run some racket up there,

bringing down the dead piece by rancid piece.
you could hear them laughing into their cups of bone.

asked by a stranger where that narrow path led
people in the valley would simply

raise their eyebrows to the heavens
try and shake the shadows out of their hat.

songs rise shadows fall
they would mutter at their panting dogs.

by which they probably meant
spring crawls up the side of the hill like a prayer,

the crow clouds scatter
at the echo of wood shutters clapping.

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