Miilba estuary, 15 April   

Miilba estuary, 15 April

The world stirs on my periphery, a chip of the dark stone
channelling a stream slowly leaving Australia for the sea

takes flight, airborne, lands to a branch. A Striated Heron
watches me. He is a local, flies up or down the shoreline,

I have never seen him in a tree before, being a bird.
They are dark, motionless, not easy to see, they wait

on edge ready to strike. I leave him be. A colony
of mussels has colonised some bent driftwood.
Their long legs are reaching out for help
but doomed in the dangerous sunlight.

A strip of kelp shaped like a ragged sand fish, to eat
is best washed, dried and diced with the salt replaced.
The armoured rump of a female Mud Crab is beautifully
crafted, a testudo in milk and cream, sweet tail meat gone.

I take Old Man’s Hat from inside a casuarina, a tourist shot,
I should be ashamed but I like it, Gilpin might have too.
I want to be a successful purveyor of natural beauty,
of language and image migrating into dreams.

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