Reflective Insulation

You just walk out of the world, and into Australia.          
(Lawrence)

Dozing mere afternoon away
hot and salty, outside time
you do not see the powderblue
of distant hills, beyond that cape:
everything has become marine
with gulls for scattered punctuation.

Huddled all together lie
the igneous and stratified:
craglet, pit and water pebble,
mini-tarn, long crinkled shelf
yellowish, ginger, tan, wet-black
with a hint of half-decayed
kelp, sea-lettuce—something off.
Could be a dead penguin, eh?

Meanwhile, back there on the sand
listening to the Test match rhythms,
elastic theology on the green
or psychic stress enacted by
a flanneled ghost in the machine.
Days are seasons of the psyche,
fresh waves crash against the sill,
over after over.
          Sandstone
is the metaphysical pavilion;
our old friend the summer’s ocean
finding odd gaps in the field.

Epics within epigrams
and the stink of restlessness,
but on the sand it feels like Bush Week,
folk with towel and radio
crescent between quotes of rock,
off which those yellow-eyed silver mullet
patiently abound.

 

 

submit a comment

Similar Articles

The word shifter

  • Penelope Buckley
  • 08 July 2006

Penelope Buckley reflects on Aileen Kelly’s City and Stranger.

READ MORE

Distant voices

  • Juliette Hughes
  • 08 July 2006

I was watching a Missy Elliott video on MTV the other day, wondering why her face always reminds me of someone.

READ MORE

We've updated our privacy policy.

Click to review