Spent

Now it is spent and lying limp

and placid at my feet —

a contentment of inky blue

but the other day if you

could have seen it bucking

with energy , flailing its

wild hair and arching its back

[ sea mountains surfers abseiled

down ] you would not have been

surprised to see it thrust

its loins again and again against

the soft white dunes nor after

to see the body of the foreshore

bruised and torn nor its rump

so foam wracked .

pic by Lachlan-Ross on Pexels

Evie

People walking up and down ,

walking off their sore heads from the night before,

mothers with their daughters, mothers with no one,

people locked on their mobiles,

missing the jaunty waves,

the graffiti of gull talk

and that gorgeous fluffy white spitz from McLaren Vale walking his owner

what’s his name? I ask.

Her, he corrects me. Evie.

Ahh I say after the song.

That’s right, he says. Evie, Parts 1,2 and 3.

And we give each other the thumbs up —

not many people know that —

& could start reminiscing when we saw Little Stevie & the Easybeats

but Evie is keen to get moving

just like Little Stevie who couldn’t keep still;

And above us, because

there’s a strong breeze,

there’s wind surfers flying around

like a dazzle of butterflies,

I Liked You Had an Electric Blanket

I liked you had an electric blanket, he said.

I really warmed to that. I liked too

you had a back yard big as a beach





and that waves of love flowed through you.

back then; I liked how we took barefoot walks

along the sand on summer night, the stars





fiery with desire, the hot kisses, but memory

tends to polish things up. to add a gleam

that wasn’t always there;





the cat never took to me and in the end you

didn’t take to me either; our little edifice of love

smashed like a sandcastle by the waves

Not a Drop was Spilled

Look, I’m going to be honest. I made a mess of this.

You shouldn’t try to explain the inexplicable.

I wrote a poem. Big deal.

People write poems all the time. They don’t try to explain them. They just present them. And that’s what I should have done.

But instead I went all mystical: probably the result of my religious upbringing and the time in the Pentecostal Church when I was speaking in tongues. Well, that’s what I thought I did. I probably spoke gibberish. Come to think of it, that’s what others around me sounded like.

The trouble is I don’t stay grounded long enough. I never have. You heard that story about the boy with his head in the clouds, well, that was me.

So I wrote this poem or someone did —- do we still subscribe to ‘the Muse’ theory? It was sort of compelling and confusing at the same time. Are you familiar with that feeling?

And okay, I put down stuff about jabbering seagulls overhead, and the guy with a metal detector who found something and went a bit gaga with it, like I did with the poem I found in my head, the one I carried around like a precious fluid till I got back to the car and wrote it in my notebook, without a drop being spilled.

That’s what I was trying to do all along. Get that last line in. Well, I did it. Sorry I messed up along the way





*pic courtesy of Pinterest by Veronika Gilkova

The Moment

Whales!

I heard there were whales lunging out of the water

At Henley South,

“sleek and smooth as peach slices”,

One eye witness said.

I finished what I was doing and went down

For a look.

But the sea was flat and empty.

There were only a pair of cyclists on the other side

Doing up their clips

And a pelican amongst the gulls gazing wistfully to a spot

Where something might have been.

No sun was out. The sky was whale-grey.

I had missed the moment.

There is a Beach called Maslin

There is a beach called Maslin

where nude people go

It’s not far from us

we used to go there, you know

when we were hippies

but is there a place for unclad thoughts

thoughts free of political correctness,

herd mentality

to go?

thoughts still showing their wobbly bits,

their stretch marks,

scowl lines?

No.

No Place

No free forum of ideas

of any kind.

No Maslin of Minds

Are You a Friend of Jesus?

I was walking along the Semaphore jetty

when a roly-poly guy from the Gospel Ministry

waddled up to me with a pamphlet, asking:

Are you a friend of Jesus, friend?

I said that I was but I didn’t know about

my web-footed friend almost at my side, but

if you threw him a fish I’m sure that he

would be too.

Now I don’t know whether Jesus had a sense

of humor but this guy didn’t even crack a smile

One Perfectly Round Ear

kseniia-ilinykh-vOFHVaETjlA-unsplash

Locked between his headphones

the scraggly haired beachcomber

scours the beach with his detector

its one perfectly round ear

listening to talk-back from the sand

music to his ears :

dollar coins , gold ear rings

or bottle tops , tin cans —

relics of summers empire .

On and on he goes

in his hand a miniature spade

and a blue bucket of hope

 

  • pic by senila ilinykn from Unsplash

How to Catch a Seagull

stephy-miehle-ndaEWVql1fo-unsplash.jpg

My grandmother taught me

how to catch a seagull .

All you had to do, she said,

was to sneak up

behind one and sprinkle salt

on its tail .

How this was supposed to work

or what to do with it

when you caught one —

she never explained

but I tried it a few times .

I went down to the beach

with a salt shaker

and sneaked up behind some gulls

squabbling over chips

but one of them

always saw me coming .

It doesn’t work, I told grandma

but she always stuck to her story

but now I take it with a pinch

of salt .

 

 

john malone