Eos, 16 April

Eos, 16 April

Red sky in the morning is not a warning, a fiery sky, skin
spun inside out is no reckoning, nothing out of Revelation.

The reckoning is yet to come, when air, water, soil
fail to meet their load. But is this morning? Stars still shine

but our galaxy is missing. Heavens are down to five, the Pointers
aimed at the Southern Cross, with only three in the kite.

Brightest Acrux adrift until I focus, gazing off-centre,
unfocused, or was it because I knew it was there?

No sign of the runt. Words stream off the tongue but between
are gaps, space and our compass points where?

They point south to the metropolis? We think we know who
we are and where, presuming why is the all-important question.

I know I face Eos when she spreads her skirts over the sea.
Hindsight of history asks what are we doing here in Country?

I watch the heron fly towards me, yesterday’s arboreal bird
swings round and retreats. If only danger was clearly messaged,

but there are the cheats, butterflies eyeing mimicry and bluff.
An Oystercatcher patrolling the ramparts is a species uncertain,

the sea has sponged up all the rosy light. He decides it’s time,
tacks up river, travel is hope within the limits of the possible.

This tidal verge of blue and gold, Smike’s inedible palette, looks
a soil-less desert, but strings of submerged middens tell the tale.

Colours have mutated to green and gold for sporting heroes
surf kings, our diurnal way of life – not this bloody emphasis

on the elemental. Who was here first? Before civilisation
barged in begging the question of mechanical hubris.

The beach has restored depth, driftwood has been salvaged,
built quickly, naturally, small lean-tos litter the beach

not in competition with the vernacular wurleys or gunyahs.
We like to be busy, or could worry what’s the point of it all?

The glow heats up, a small blister appears, swallows start
exercising. Willy Wagtails launch, fidget with the air then dock.

Magpies are singing with a lisp as words try to catch up
with the shutter work, a traffic flow faster than the river.

A labyrinth of patient wear, streaming rock, smooth and tough
as armour, frescoed green with algae, has trapped a beautiful shell.

I don’t collect shells but take it for Wyn, prefer to take photographs,
line it up with neighbour. Symmetry is art sometimes (invoking Aphrodite).

The river’s apostrophe is cool and for a while the background world
is simply slate grey, except for the trees dripping in gold

as if anything is possible – a new day opening like a flower
evading the politics of forests laid-to-waste and all that killing.


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