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by Heather Farmer 


Monumental sea lions
jostle for space on the ledges
scarred carcasses pitted and ravaged
savaged hulks ulcerated
the burst bubbles’ petrified edges
oozing dark blood
rusting ironstone razors
embedded staining red
the bruised blue shale and slate grey skin

Calved from gaping caverns
they sprawl below the worn-out
worn-down mother-of-a-cliff
a rubbled hillside now
dense with banksia and bitou
where tense and tiny birds
hide from predatory crows

Above the restless violence of the sea
the bullrocks lie impervious
to the sights and sounds of history—
cyclones thrashing trashing
tall ships foundering
sailors floundering drowning—
the pounding surf an approaching train
emerging from the underground
pulling up again and again
on the shore of the twenty-first century

Between the rocks ancient skeletons
cling to entangled weed

Overhead carking crows croak and moan

Shadows falling from their wings
chill the sunburnt bones


This poem was created during a workshop with New Shoots: Cairns Botanic Gardens

Go to New Shoots Public Submissions's profile to read more poems