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.

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