Southern Wright Water

(After reading Judith Wright, A Human Pattern: Selected Poems)

Surf is guitar, still water single piano notes, leaves
feather the air like memory. Seaspray is scented
with fable and renewal, and hope is a flowering gum.

My wife’s forebears berthed their generations
not far from here when steamers still cut through
the whip-water heads. A once eagle on the family tree
mixes with now inaccessible soil somewhere nearby.
The last crop but one has maintained his vocabulary
of sun, cloud and rain.

                       There is both home-leaving
and home-coming in our arrival. We connect through
parallel wardrobes and pantries and a lightly loaded car.
We imagine the birds remember us, though they don’t
seem to know our names. We are providentially seed,
the better for it. Our trees stand more constant
to their need.

                       The equipoise of a lake and two beaches
within easy walking distance settles like the ocean
on the horizon above the roof-lines as infant night
enables sight and the dark-light waves wash through
our ears.

                       Sometimes we plot the day ahead, sometimes
we tune out, remote in hand, sometimes the old flirtation
animates ambling love through our feet on the cradling lino,
a glass too many of wine, tea served in crockery that aches
to be held fragile and firm as breath.

Other poems by Paul Scully

Our Lady of the Trap-Door Spider

Launch speech

Les Wicks' launch of Paul Scully's 'An Existential Grammar'