Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Sunset Road




A piece of sky has fallen into the sea,

So this must be the time.

The Sound is banded pink and heron blue

By the gentle palette of the lowering sun.


I strip at the shore of the shelly beach

And fold my clothes neat as Christmas packages.

I was never tidy in life, except in leaving it,

So they’ll know that I left with intention.


The water receives me in a lover’s embrace.

Discreetly, the watcher on the reef takes off

And becomes a black arrow, flying west,

Beyond the lighthouse island, pointing my way.


There has been a sea-change. The chop and current

That resisted me fiercely, day after day,

Pushing me always toward the Old World,

Now streams with my strokes.


I am riding blue water, crested with burning bronze.

How my body loves the sea, its element and its nature!

I swim through all the colors of memory

And I remember the water-world that is my home.


Something slips from me like a swimsuit

Whose elastic has snapped, and I am free of human form.

I am a cormorant, fishing and skimming the waves.

I play with the shapes I remember:


I am a dolphin, leaping and plunging in its joy

I am a sea-king in his chariot, plowing the waves

I am the Blue Man, tireless lover from the deep

I am the one who fell from the sky like a shooting star. 





I remember the sunset road. Perhaps I looked too long

Into the black light at the heart of the sun

Because I have skipped a continent, and return to myself

On the white sand of Manly Beach.


For a moment, I am in the body and memory

Of an awkward Australian boy of eighteen

Learning how to make love. Quickly I am drawn

Through green shadows and groves of familiar dead


To the World Tree. It has an everyday name:

A Moreton Bay fig. The flocks of ibis birds around it –

Travelers from the precinct of Thoth the Star Voyager,

Measurer and Rememberer – herald its greater name.


Its corkscrew roots drill a passage to the Underworld.

Its manifold trunks and branches open many ways.

Its upper limbs are ladders to the World Up Top

Where a couple with black opal eyes help me up.


In the lubra’s opulent body I read a pattern of stars.

Her eyes shift. She is flying fox, and echidna,

And black Venus. Her eyes turn as spiral galaxies

And I find she is a way through the Milky Way.

- This poem is in my collection, Here, Everything Is Dreaming: Poems and Stories. Published by Excelsior Editions. 


Photo by RM

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