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after a painting by Euan Macleod with the same title,
purchased by the Tarrawarra Museum of Art in 2013

The sea is so taken by its waves,
building them so beautifully, wave on wave
without end and edge, from far away;
the rocks, they feel their way into this sea,
into its tumbled green and blue, the rocks, you see,
they would hand the fisher to the shattered sea,
throw birds into the sodden air, hide crabs, anemones
from the worst of it.

As a sudden mad thin line of strange fragility goes in,
the standing figure pushed up against this scene,
against this yearning for encounter with no way out,
no horizon certain, always something about to go bang

inside those waves, their fists of sound and sand,
a smudged and sketchy self stands, rod in hand.

Kevin Brophy is the author of thirteen books of poetry, fiction and essays. His latest book is Walking: New and Selected Poems (John Leonard Press, 2013). He teaches creative writing in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne.