Sand Down the Western Highway

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The words I’ve been reading
Sand I’ve been treading
Pasted on my ankles and hands

And what I talk about
When I talk about now

Your long hair
Tied back in the days I’m gone

I hope the same song
the same lilting chords
Are stuck in your head too

As you watch trams, rain, money
I’m seeing you
and the wide open sea

My favourite backdrop

Exhale

A cat sits softly
with the fading light
 
The last pink embers of the day
fall into the sea
 
Australian winter sky is
distant bush fires and salt
 
No one notices
 
The cat licks her fur
matted from weeks of lying on old blankets
 
Evening shakes hands with night
I’m just a spider hanging from a web
 
When the hand comes to brush me away
the cat will not raise a paw
 
I will land on my back
 
The air will be chilled, stilled
 
silent

Cinnamon salt

I sat in pulsing silence

a drip of sweat over sunscreened cheek

of just-before-1pm

 

The temple was red

and “mom, it smells like old indian people”

came floating through the open door

 

Incense went stick upon stick

from an endless donation box to Confucius

and other gods

 

I didn’t know

but I did remove my shoes;

flat leather plates with thinning straps

 

Sitting, exhausted

on a tiled step of tourist history

 

I could tell, after ten minutes

another bunch of americans had gathered near

“oh look shhhh! she’s praying!”

 

Maybe I was

maybe the ignorant tourist was praying

in an ancient temple devoted to gods and figures of eternal wisdom and power

she didn’t know or understand

 

Still I breathed in the perfume dust,

knowing there’s always

the beach

 

From kneeling to swimming

it’s a 4km pilgrimage from here

so the sign says

 

I’ll go now

I’ll wash away the sweat and sins

by sea

A Wave

A shell lies waiting
beaming in a ray of light
(my hand)

We lie in a hot room
smiling around the curl
of the shell

Bright blue, a day away
and a dream
falling

In the thick of the last night
I sang to the shell
the melody ran in a wink

Trailed off into the heaving sea
there’s no more
and I’m on a plane

And suddenly what I had is gone
disappeared
(a wave)