September 2019

Back to Issue 6

Kangaroo Island

By Carl Walsh


i)        infringing sand

          swallows hills     

          folding them into wave

          after wave of dunes

          which wash up into the scrub

          & fight the stunted

          wind-blown gums

          to possess

                             this salt-riddled soil

ii)       the sky is cast over with clouds

          that speak

                             of rain

          & listening ants

                             ring-fence holes with dry earth

                                          their industry at one

                                                       with ground & sky


          the sea crinkled-brittle-glass that crushes

                               to powder on       

                                                       the solid shore

          where earth has upended


                            & layered them in schoolboy scrawl

          beneath the low-slung drift of the horizon


iii)      coast beard-heath

         abundant in white berries

         summons silver gulls

         as I am lost in fringe-myrtle& dryland



         sea-lions criss-cross the saltbush

         in jigsaw-patterns

         that entrap me

         in native pigface& common boobialla


         the star flowers of the narrow leaf spyridium

         are unnavigable

         no constellation for this sailor adrift


iv)     sand dusts my skin

         adhered by sunscreen

                      & saltwater

         it pours from my shoes

                    whitening the clay & gravel of the driveway

                                          as I walk home


v)      this land is used to sand

         I feel it now

                     under bare-feet


                      to wrap me in a thousand-fold grains

         beneath the never-ending wash of sky