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the sea – soft – curves
a welcome
round my feet.

I should have known
the shadows of bubbles
would be
perfect circles.
not grey
not black
not white.
and gone before I could know.
but coming back
to show me
their cloud-colour.

a straight line bisects
nested isosceles

how could the sea make
parallelograms in sand?
but they’re there.

and without compass
the ocean
more ancient than Archimedes
draws perfect parabolas

JAN COLVILLE was born in Melbourne, and moved to Tasmania in 1946. She has been a keen bushwalker and has covered much of Tasmania on foot. Her poetic inspirations are Robert Adamson, Mark Tredinnick, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins and most Tasmanian poets. Her poems cover autobiography, science, social commentary, the environment, philosophy and occasionally magic realism. She has been published in Blue Giraffe and Prospect.