Thursday, 5 April 2012

Photograph of the Clearing

For the photographers, Nick and Sara

The sun breaks on a home of homes, bursting
waves of the sea with light and warmth, urging
familiar footprints in beachsand ever nearer: come and
meet my new tide, happy folk and sad!  For yours
are but the thoughts, the feelings, and imaginings
of mortal kind.  How much more mortal, aye, am I —
who die, the cataclysm of all you’ll ever know?

The waves brush a rhythm that suits this early
reverie in the bush, the eternal and magical
and doomed and droughtstruck and utterly
faraway scrub.  Somewhere more near, one stronger
of ear than any here might hear the sounds of
crabs moving slowly over rocks, of fish slicing
through swash and undersurf, of the coastal

patrol pair of sea eagles flap an airbrake
for landing as they home, breakfast clutched
in the undercarriage.  I’m sorry that you and I
are not here; sorry that the life of faraway
has been so far away; sorry that my life remains
so shy of those golden footsteps and washing
of sandals, so shy of that fateful sunbreak.

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