Mulla Mulla Beach
Before the sea stops a long mile out
I hear the blades of fishermen scotching the rocks
and their reels beginning to grind like bicycle gears.
The sand is smooth but for weed,
jelly-fish clear as surgical gloves.
I watch the men who fish all day, eyes fast
on the water, who were born hearing the sea always there.
A place will seep into the voice
of any local. I walk where sponges grow
like moist yeast, a new world to me,
but familiar. I squeeze the sea out.
Part of that plain voice goes dead.
It is the talk of people living here all year round
who wish just to be left alone.
Now, at almost dark, a dead confetti
of fish-scales sticks to the rocks.
There’s no word but the sea’s and tide-winded shells
pacing quietly as shore-runners:
though sometimes, there is a line, a murmur
winding and unwinding in the shells.