This sky we share
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.
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.
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
decks graffitied with splotches
of white bird heaven
the tumble of rocks
just fallen from limestone cliffs.
the perfect number
of coastal town residents
is just seventy-eight
Author: E. A. Gleeson
The GistE 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.