Anticline is two tiny single-poem booklets, one about a curious geological oddity located in downtown Castlemaine in Central Victoria, and the other also about a similar geological feature located by the train line in the back blocks of Chewton, also in Central Victoria.
When we first moved to Chewton we noticed a series of street signs around Castlemaine directing people to something called an “Anticlinal Fold”. Eventually curiosity got the best of us and we followed them. We found an old brown plaque mounted above a curved outcropping of rock. The plaque explained that this kind of rock formation was indicative of the presence of gold and as such should be celebrated as part of a historic gold-mining town’s history.
I’ve always been a sucker for weird little touristy things, so finding one in my own home town was a pleasure. Eventually my low-level musings about giving the Anticlinal Fold its own anthem turned into an actual poem, which became a little zine that I started leaving in batches beside the fold itself.
As it turns out, there’s also an anticlinal fold just down the road from my house, so when I found out about it I modified the poem to fit a Chewtonian setting, whipped up a second zine and started leaving copies beside that one as well.
The booklets are housed in makeshift dispensaries deposited close by the features whose virtues they extol and extemporise upon. They are free to anyone who cares to take one.
The Castlemaine Anticline booklet can be found just near the corner of Lyttleton and Urquhart Streets in Castlemaine.
The Chewton Anticline booklet can be found beside the railway tracks just down from the bridge over the tracks on Railway Street in Chewton.
If you find yourself tragically unable to visit either site, you can contact me either by leaving a comment on this page or emailing me and we can probably arrange something, I’m sure. Meantime here’s a short excerpt from the poem to whet your appetite (whet. like a stone. get it?)
A million years out of the sun,
they found it when the track went through
and recognised the find for what it was.
Its layers bent upon themselves,
revealing to the engineers
a minor point of geological truth.
Behold! The anticlinal fold!
A bell curve carved into the earth:
evidence that even rock is never truly still.
Move with the anticlinal fold.
Dance to the anticlinal fold.
Put your hand on it – you can feel it in your bones.