The waders have all retreated, 28 jan

Tide high, the waders have all retreated, enabling
a bigger splash, pure pleasure at jumping, falling,
moving. Tourists and endangered birds don’t mix.
It’s cumulative. Fish flow inside the golden mosaic
over the clear imprint of Stingrays, a hermit crab
encounters a Turban Shell, it’s not a race.

A pair slipping up river stay underwater mostly,
that’s dolphins for you. The young dragon is out
and about needing the light to heat cold blood.
She turns her head, looks back at me wondering
why I have stopped. What I like in the photograph
is the way her contours echo that of the rock.

Our sacred mountain keeps watch, a dozen wrens
jump about a Banksia as if each branch is electrified.
The sea convulses as it swims upriver with the world’s
oldest rainforest holding the plateau as a backcloth.
The beach is improvised with timber, kangaroo tracks
score lines though the long pale grasses.

Nothing is still, not my beating heart, not the sun
wheeling across the beaches north. It’s early,
the cool air delights you. Black Cockatoos shake
south, the song of an invisible Mangrove Gerygone
holds us stationary. I take your hand, you let
the binoculars fall and hang around your neck.

A child has cut a sardine into four equal parts,
eyes clear as glass. Just below, fish casually mill
about, naïve or cocky. Some sections wall us in,
natives and exotics but everything is beautiful,
the Glory Lilly whose breath we share, and presence
is a noxious weed extremely difficult to control.

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