it comes around again –
this most dangerous/celebratory time of year.
50 years ago as a new generation began
lifting us from the old kings
a younger tanned
adventurous, many said handsome
spearfisher, philanderer, machismo child,
our own JFK in a wetsuit
kissing a mulloway for the press.
The Rip at Cheviot Beach always –
but on the tide turning
Port Philip Bay and Antarctica
it’s a train: the continental shelf
is littered with bones.
his lover (and family friend),
on the sand with a detective in a suit,
the salt ruining his shoes –
pointing the obvious horizon.
helicopters for days
divers hands barely
in front of them.
Marjorie on the rocks
– in a bikini and shift, the wind at her hair, watches
the Prime Minister his arm too sore
to wave – just a bobbing head,
a leaf being taken out…
perhaps with a frown,
or a wry smile,
his immortal feet finding
…so quick and final.
like Helen, unconsoled on the shore
waiting to be implicated.
Image: Searching Cheviot Beach , Victoria December 1967, by National Archives of Australia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Harold Holt was the 17th Prime Minister of Australia, in office from 1966 until his presumed drowning death. Here’s This Mortal Coil with Song of the Siren . And for all you Christmas swimmers, here’s the Surf Lifesaving website – always swim between the flags.