The exile


(Bush regen., Five Islands Nature Reserve, May 2018)

What is an island
but a line
for the interpenetration of
sea-spray, blown soil and invasive seeds?
An arbitrary demarcation of waves, weed and
oyster-catchers on the black volcanics.

What is a line
but a point ad infinitum
that encompasses and is encompassed?
Here a hillside of brown paspalum
knocked down by glyphosate
and the Lomandra plantings;
there the mottled channel, the further shore
and the world extensive.

Either the world and the sky surrounds
or it is the island that contains everything –
the sky begins
just over the ridge.

The off-shore wind brings sounds
– a semi down-shifting
school kids at lunch, yelling
this too-warm autumn,
sirens, the clang of steel and a coal train
gathering momentum.

As we work, the island is overflown
– a pair of sea eagles { {
raptors, ravens, a white-faced heron on the tank stand
a family of bulbuls chattering in the banksias.

What use a hand
but a shade for the sun?
The interstices
between earth, ocean, sky
(you, me)
always provisional, always elusive —
is this land? is this sea? is this the air
where I stand?


And for all you bird-lovers, here’s two white bellied sea eagles showing off

5 thoughts on “The exile

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