Down by the River
Heat - the Leviathan out-breath of a dying beast heaped in our breasts
making movement sluggish.
By the tea coloured waters
we stripped off.
Returned winter-skinned relatives
ginger, delicate and reticent
white pruned finger tips
dipping in delicately nervous to
break the silence
pierce the meniscus
let alone dive in.
You never step in
to the same river twice.
Golden tea stained ripples
on the sandy riverbed.
Swimmer’s shadow shafts corona.
Caustics playing concentric tag
radiating from every flicker.
The recently departed
fly hook fisher.
Wading in fingers dipping left right
kneeling appreciatively before
immersed dogs on their haunches
muscular fur dripping with diamonds.
Happy pup splashing past with a human smile on his goddy nosed face.
Giddy kids hitching rides in inflatable boats.
suckling on the riverbank.
Warm and cool currents.
Unexpected submerged depths
and shallows afloat.
Whole trees lurking snagging in the
vegemite tea water
reflecting the scudding clouds
piling up and grumbling.
"I'm afraid of lightning" my cousin murmurs.
Cauliflower edges against slate and
purple etched sky.
Down it comes
drop garnet-paper stars
winking in and out of existence
on the river's sleek fish hide.
Goosebumps quantum leaps
ellipses eclipsing ellipses.
What grade of wet and dry
Determined by rash drops intensity.
Plumes rebound as clarity ribbons from each impact.
Cascading rhythm in and out of phase
with cicada's refrain.
In the gloaming
she-oak’s bursts of pollen
spew and sprinkle curtains of smoke
resting and bobbing in
sheets on water's skin.
"Let the Land sell itself!" I reply.
Grateful of the awning
we shelter boat people
returning sand shore between our toes.
Stow in 4wheel drives
talk of bindi eyes and aromatic crunchiness
of South Australia
in the nostrils.
The dew in diamond diadems
lacing edges of each blade of grass
the cool sweet wetness arching feet and encircling between toes
more valuable than any
For Cerys and Lochlain Easton
In memory of
my Uncle Russel Morgan
Barbara Wulff 21st January 2016