sea

broken glass

more picnics mean

more broken glass

it’s not me

or any of my

friends

we wouldn’t do that

who would

stare out to sea

and ask

if the rusty anchor’s still wedged

on the island

where waves attack

shipwreck litter

you’d be stuck

with a fine these days

for that

and I heard the sailors were

all unvaccinated

in 1870

selfish pricks, I wonder

was their captain schooled

by Opus Dei?

someone who

eats roast koala

for tea

picks his teeth

with the constitution

casts icy eyes over

the cash flow of

stamp duty to

developer, it’s only the poor

who choose to buy

on flood plains

my Hilux explains

I’m OK

burning finest quality

trees in aspic

4.2 litre diesel

smash the plastic

P plates

in the car park

by the boat ramp

someone will

tidy up

for you

black water laps

against the morning shore

faint tang of petrol

in the air

it’s safe for kids

so clean

because

our land is

rich and free 

Photo: Claire Doble

Skytumble

skytumble

and the breeze

tosses me

around

batters my

spiked edges

smooths

the turmoil

of the soul

I watch the

lines of cloud

chased to the corners

of blue

funnelled towards

a far edge, reaching

white, high and fleeting

and below

and beyond

waves rise

out at sea

alarmingly like

the dream

I had

last night

of a tsunami

greygreen

they’ll reach my windows

engulf the house

tight-sealed but

ominous

a trickle

down the wall

all-engulfing

enthrals

colours in a

tropical storm

aquamarine

slides sideways

more like

quiet horror

than fright

 

Photo: Claire Doble

The Wreck

A wreck of gold and crimson

over the horizon

an island out to sea

not far

frothed in waves and it’s

windy out there

back home the damp seeps

into everything

carpet, eiderdown, towel and bone

while the daughters rev and roar

next door

smoke blooms in the night

once more

peachlight clouds against grey-to-black sky

nostrils flare

all is so quiet but that smell of fire

over the horizon

there

it’s

a wreck of gold and crimson

beyond the shore

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@wtexxfaa1

Somewhat inspired by https://poets.org/poem/diving-wreck

treadmarks

 

I am the watcher

the runner

unofficial custodian

alone

non-partisan

my feet pray

to mother earth

my breath

synthesises

salt-sea molecules

of sky

and my eyes

monitor

the ways

in sweeping surveil

from mountain

to ocean

and over there

the horizon

mine not mine

owned only

in a global

internal

knowing

tread the land

stomp the sand

it’s yours, ours, no one’s

take care

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Besides, I have poems to write

 

Evidently the sea

has taken away the sand

leaving rocks where

before it was dunes

 

and my shifting day

stole away an idea

beauty shimmered, lost and

never wrote it down

 

one request got through

(and first thoughts

are not best regarded

– even angels fear to tread on broken beaches)

besides, I have poems to write

 

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

Lessons

 

I learnt permanence from the beach

the way the sand never shifted

and the dunes stood still

a dead spike-backed fish

forever there, the arcs of tides

ancient and fixed

 

I learnt love from the sea

constant, predictable

ever reliable

turn your back, nothing happens

risk free

and the rocks, so orderly

 

I learnt life from the wind

always that solid blue

careful, unchanged

no cloud-claw wisps

nor breeze-tossed leaf

to mar my view

The law of nature

 

can’t stop touching

my face

sucking fingers

biting nails

turn my cheek

to be licked by the wind

run at birds

who beat, beat, beat

wingflashes of white

in sea-salt air

they’re still scared

of me, I’m alpha

right?

the world has not

changed its laws

fragile, stupid, greedy

glorious

needy

I want to swallow the sky today

Is it mine?

ripples in water

make perfect art

for no one

to own

devastated

reinstated

again, again, again

can’t stop touching

my face

 

 

Photo by Alimo 26 on Unsplash

Two minutes to midnight

The night air is full of the sea
and it pours, thick
through the kitchen flyscreen
as poignant-melancholy music
rises to meet it like a wave
and I contemplate never drinking again

Watch Greta Thunberg on TV
fist-bump Obama and then
make an impassioned plea
her hair grown to Rapunzel length
that means
it’s been at least a year, please let her win

As the rain falls helpless, heavy here
in parched fields beyond
farmers cry drought-tears
and I see broken, unfixed water pipes
beside the train line I’m overwhelmed
by how little we care

 

Image: Pacifica Australis #3 – Tiger Nautilus Shell by Christopher Diaz (sculptures at Killalea). Photo: Claire Doble