AN AUSTRALIAN CREEKMOUTH
by Chris Wallace-Crabbe
From peasoup hue to coastal silvering
the broad creek slides and shivers,
having for a clammy sleeve,
under this abstract orchestra of paperbarks, elegantly trunked,
their crests all a-twitter—
the ground far more lethargic.
As you go woodenly treading,
grizzled sand bulges up through this muddiness,
respectable waterhens are paddling
their little gondolas along,
sounding the horn,
black duck beat
water like an Irish washerwoman
while the boobialla has rocket
explosions of leaf.
Brookweed and seablite dither nearby,
hardly calling for notice
but now the metallic gum-tops are rattling
banksias do the baroque in style
(they pay continuing tribute to Cook and
that yuppie Sir Joseph)
while a supercilious magpie
gargles beyond it all.
The sand is yellowing:
We near the sea
which is too vast and swollen to be taking
any notice at all
of nation, hemisphere, or history.
Copyright © 2007 by Chris Wallace-Crabbe