View of Dark Point, NSW

Bruce McIntyre

It’s curious, from six feet up the dune resembles sea,
Folds, wrinkles, wavelets, pockmarks cupped by half-circle shadows
Or gleaming burnished and foisting itself upon the horizon.
Look up. Here the sea has become a mountain
And there the greedy beach has bloated into bush.
Obliquely now look down and see
The ocean acting out its name,
Cleanly, languidly curling upon its spine in waves pierced
By muscled backs of wet shiny steel,
The undulating riders of the zone of sea become the air.
But this is ocean, not sea and vaster by far than the mountain of sand,
But not too vast nor the beach too remote
To escape the plastic ring, the plastic crust, the plastic tide.
The very depths of winter drown us now
And four-wheel drives not footsteps gouge the beach,
The land turns its back to the wind blown down from the mountains
And all too soon the day collapses into evening.
Not so much crunching laughter now
Among the screes of empty shells
Eaten once again by years and creeping sands from who knows where.
Six thousand years ago the islands became themselves
Before the very gaze of time
And all that time you kept on laughing.
Where is the point? To see, recoil and ascend
In a cold and seamless telescopy
To dream a pen-wielder’s perfunctory dream
Of any coast of all the coasts in all the world.
On high you cannot help but see the islands that once
Were headlands – here is the point –
The point has been swallowed and the sand
Somehow is pushed up billowing in smooth
Hard cushions then sliding to the forest sliding
Into the immense lagoons and watery worlds
Of the Worimi.
You were seen to laugh more easily than cry
And asleep and awake dreamt of what
Carried upon the rising ocean
And the earth’s slow dance beneath it
We always dream.

Poetry Atlas has many poems about Australia.

Main Location:

Dark Point, Hawks Nest NSW 2324, Australia

Other locations:

Dunes at Dark Point in New South Wales