Message in a bottle
Where the crayfish and sealice gnaw
out by the red buoy I lie drowned.
I hear its bell from the sea floor
by the mark seven as they sound.
I see the moon poised like a pearl;
it splits and wavers in the tide,
and where the breaking waters hurl
flotsam and weed, and seagulls ride,
my final lines are cast on sand,
bottled and corked to keep them dry,
characters in a dead man’s hand
with loops and hooks to catch the eye.
“If God is a great looking-glass
in whom you see your human grace,
the Devil shows quite another gloss
and mirrors just as true a face.”
FRANK KELLAWAY (born 19 April, 1922, London, England: died 13 July, 2012, Melbourne, Victoria) was not only a fine poet but an accomplished writer of fiction and libretti. In addition to his two collections of poems, Beanstalk, 1973 and Mare’s Nest, 1978, he left behind a rich selection of poems. Some have appeared in magazines since the 1940s and others have yet to be published. Over recent years he was putting together Heartlands, a collection of poems inspired by his experiences on farms and in rural areas. His works of fiction include short stories, general fiction (A Straight Furrow, 1960, Bill’s Break, 1983) and children’s fiction (The Quest for Golden Dan, 1962 and Golden Dan, 1976). He has also written libretti for operas by George Dreyfuss.