Tag Archives: Beach

January 9, 2016 (& 2002 & 1980)

In 2012, I paddled out before the sun came up in Manly, surfing as it rose. Today—on the same wild ocean but kilometres away—I wade into the water again, watching the waves crest and crumble through palm fronds jammed into the sand. The dew had made the top layer dark; and hopefully it had also run the dog piss off the car tyres. The foaming pacific felt warm and light as a cappuccino but the bared teeth of the mottled mongrels were chilling as they chased me off the beach. I can still hear their barking. The shore-break was detonating in rumbling, rolling white-outs while I remembered that half a lifetime ago (1998) I got my first guitar — as today (2016) I was getting another one.



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Our Skin Was the Colour of Caramel

The sky is blue, mixed with milk
And the bird is as red as a race car

The flowers are pink like a sweet sixteen
And soft as its chiffon dress

The house is an ancient flaking grey
And its wooden shutters are loaves of bread painted with honey

The hammock is a rolled-up banner of equality
And the sand is like brown sugar on a bowl of porridge

The sun, meanwhile, coats everything in egg-wash
And bakes all of the colour into my memory

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Low Tide At Shoreham

I woke to the smell of the bared sea bed
The sweet and sour waft of salt and algae
Baking in the morning sun
At the rock edge the tide splashing the squatting abalone hunters
Prying off the meaty, mushrooming molluscs
Their iridescent half shell later filled with stubbed-out cigarette butts
An ashen cancer at the end of their rainbow
The copse of laddered pines are quiet now after a night of roaring in the wind
Sounding like the kind of rain that comes through your open windows and soaks your books
There’s a kite caught in the branches, sad, tattered and forever out of reach
Later in the year we’ll be down here at dawn hunting gold tops
No one here has heard of blue meanies, at least not the Kiwi kind
And we’ll be laughing on a lawn that’s heard a lot of laughter
A home like this has many memories
They come and go with the seasons, like the ocean on its step
A white capped expanse as deep and storied as a property split between siblings
You just hope they never sell it
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