Poetry by E.A Gleeson


This sky we share


Just-built houses 
stretch upwards
lunging at ocean views 
angling out inlanders
blocking older shacks 
shading neighbouring yards.


For six weeks 
holiday-makers hang out 
on their decks to die for. 
For the other forty-six weeks, 
these shrines tower 
in blue silence. 


Worst storm ever


On Monday morning, locals stand like sentinels 
watching Curdie’s River explode. It carves its way 
through the sand bar, slices deeply, hurtles 
itself into the ocean. 


The town is awash. Words pass along the line. 
Eleven cabins flooded. Houses beyond the park
seemingly afloat, two more in Cumming Street. 
Hectares of water flow around these house islands.


Has there ever been a worse one? 
The sand wasn’t scooped soon enough. 
Drains hadn’t been cleared.
Planning schemes are way too lenient
Laptops flip to an array of media images 
and reports of worsening floods and blame. 
Everything is proffered as an explanation
except the amount and intensity of rain.


All day the clean-up happens.
By evening, onlookers gather on the foreshore.
Families who spent weeks here in January
return to stare at their summer playground.


By Tuesday, the rain stops, the wind quietens 
floodwaters diminish. Everything lessens except 
the stories. They grow more frightening, the water 
deeper, more ferocious with each retelling.


Spring alert


After weeks of bluster and sad skies, 
the river mouth becomes mirrored 
as a cliché. 


In the no sound of this new spring day, 
the expanse reflects what it sees. Ducks slide 
in the sheen, tailgating. 


Wattles hold branches steady, reeds stand 
to attention. In this oasis of green and blue, 
locals wait it out. 


On-site vans and cabins leashed in the park,  
hold tight against the pending explosion 
of colour and noise.


Seven Reasons for not moving to Peterborough


corroded tools, stuck 
doors, jammed windows, wonky keys.
Peterborough Rust


conversation range:
size of fish, type of weather
number of tourists


Great Ocean Road – a 
misnomer for this last stretch 
of crumbling asphalt


the coil of ‘fat 
as your arm’ snake sunbaking
on the walking track


bar-b-ques ransacked
decks graffitied with splotches 
of white bird heaven


the tumble of rocks
just fallen from limestone cliffs. 
yesterday’s shelter


the perfect number 
of coastal town residents
is just seventy-eight

If you enjoyed E A Gleeson then read Susanne P Thomas Here

Learn more about E A Gleeson on her website here

About the contributor

E A Gleeson is a poet and essayist who has presented her work in Estonia, Florida, Ireland and most states of Australia. She has published three poetry books with Interactive Press. When she is not writing, she works as a Funeral Director in the South West of Victoria, Australia. She has a writing studio on the coast at Peterborough where she garners inspiration for her poems and funeral ceremonies.

Related Articles

Bill Cushing’s A Former Life – Reviewed

Richard Lance Keeble reviews Bill Cushing's A Former Life. Richard, a regular reviewer for The Blue Nib is a Professor of Journalism at the University of Lincoln and Visiting Professor at Liverpool Hope University. He has written and edited 40 books on a wide range of media-related subjects. The chair of the Orwell Society, he is the joint editor of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics and George Orwell Studies. In 2011, he gained a National Teaching Fellowship, the highest award for teachers in Higher Education in the UK and in 2014 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association for Journalism Education. In 2020, Routledge are to publish a collection of his essays under the title, Journalism Beyond Orwell.

Absence Eased by Edward Lee

Edward Lee -Absence Eased My daughter lives forty-eight kilometres from me in the house I bought with her mother, the house I still own; the...

Poetry by Ed Southorn

Ed Southorn teaches journalism at Griffith University and the University of Queensland

1 COMMENT

More Like This

A Long Way from Home. Fiction by Reddaway

Lily hugged her bundle close to her chest.  The lane was crowded, and she was being jostled and pushed.  If she wasn’t careful it...

4 Poems from an emerging poet.

LONG-HAUL No water-bottles now –  to reduce single-use plastic, offset aviation fuel.  My gut’s like a wind-sock.  I panic for my passport, ask for...

Poetry by P.C Vandall

PLATO AND THE PEPSI CHALLENGE Plato frowns up at me from the pages of a dusty old textbook I’m reading. He looks the...

Sharp Hills by Chrissie Gittins – Reviewed

Sharp Hills by Chrissie Gittins - Reviewed by Ada Wofford. Along with being a Contributing Editor to the Blue Nib, Ada Wofford is bravely avoiding her inevitable 9-5 enslavement by studying library science at UW-Madison. She holds a BA in English literature and has been published in number of journals.

2 poems by emerging poet Georgina Ashworth

Emerging poet Georgina Ashworth was winner of the ECU’s Talus Prize in the poetry category (2017), she was also the judging panel’s favourite for the Yarra Libraries Receipt Poetry Competition, as part of the Digital Writers Festival (2019).