Poem for the Tern Up Organisers

From the very successful tern Up Reading Sat Nov 14

I just want to read one of my poems here – some of you might have heard it on ABC Radio Friday morning – It’s dedicated to the 3 inspiring women Christiana Ferreira, Jo Eliott and Emma Aspden behind this project. And after the awful news of 12 hours ago – it’s particularly apposite I think. Though the poem is thinking of Syria and I still am, events in Paris shouldn’t obscure the daily reality elsewhere.

Sunday afternoon Nambucca, Oct 25 2015

Couples stroll the seawall above worshippers parked on the beach, eyes closed
to health warnings and a pretty girl in a strawberry hat and pink rash vest
chasing dad’s frisbee into the sea. Upstream, teenage bikinis splash the laughing
river while the boys, knee-high on the edge, watch their tanned skin.
Brown Honeyeaters haunt a pocket of mangrove, so loud, so close, so invisible
while a pack of cormorants line the southern shore with a thin dark wrack.

The birds seem to be enjoying the afternoon. A mess of seagulls thresh
waters coiled around yawning pelicans while Little Terns wearing black
caps with white triangles float reconnaissance, searching the pale
rolling ribs then diving repeatedly through the elastic air with wings
of sharp beauty riddling the surface of their hunting grounds, ricocheting
white light as their snowy bellies levitate back into the euphoric boundless blue.

A dolphin casually undulates a wave of beauty out to sea.
I’m infatuated and drift through Sunday afternoon foolishly imagining
the whole world’s relaxed and enjoying what seems to be perfect.

Tern Up readers
Tern Up readers

Photographs: Christiana Ferreira, Point Shoot Shine

JB Tern Up3

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