What country, friends, is this?
Twelfth Night, Act 1, sc 2
another tourist-priced town,
shacks upscaled in treated pine and Colorbond®
— woodland grey, classic cream, surf mist —
stilted up the hillsides.
Colonial Palms, Sea Breeze,
Ocean Rest, Foxtel, balcony views, in-house dining
(fisherman’s basket, steak dianne, chips n salad).
Tinderbox houses ring
the gullied remains of the forest.
Ironbark and bloodwood
giants, sideshow to the understorey
of acacias, lantana and morning glory. Says,
‘When this bastard goes up best just walk away.’
Contrary to accepted, the horizon is not a line
but a jagged blade, the elements saw
against each other constantly swapping molecules
and though it’s cold, the headland’s dancing in the heat.
Viola in drag profiled against the burnished
sea, the air snatches her scarf.
A line rushes across the sand like a new idea.
What woke me so early
with Venus low in the sky
like an A380 on final approach?
It was the New Continent !
I had to look twice, past the estuary and the point,
a cliff far taller almost a wall.
Even though it was dark, the land was full of detail:
trees and trees and trees, a coast below, a line of surf,
silver waterfalls draining the land’s emergence.
An ordinary shore, weathered in familiar processes:
erosion, deposition. Streetlights, houses,
a driver like a star round the hairpins.
How had I overlooked this?
Tomorrow we’ll set out to explore.
But on waking the sky was blank
and the picturesque oyster flats drain
over the usual drudge.
Image: Merimbula Rocks (detail) by Sasha Fernandez on Flickr. A holiday piece posted on Dverse open link night. And for anyone travelling this season, here’s Brian Eno’s Music for Airports, performed by Bang on a Can to help pass the time.