Stuart Cooke: Swansea Foreshore

1 October 2008

We caught a finely spun
flight of aluminium silk through the slow

Swansea light. Sunset
dredged copper, dwindled histories

over mangrove forests; we flew
over metal mist while seeping,

seeping up from the water grey
prisms frayed into salt-fine arms

and cool wisp fingers grasped, almost
touched. On the foreshore incandescent

grass strips shimmered with sandy
flame, ate the tracks of mobile

gums, stubby ribs poked
from the mud around the gantry,

laughing and sucking our air.
We were meant to return, to move

onwards, to roll over deep
Tooheys paint, over bullock tones

but the shark skin trunks slipped
into slender silhouettes, strokes

tracing verdant gum maps
before light, before breathing purple-

mangrove smoke, we heard their names,
their countless names slowly twisting,

slowly twisting afternoon.

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Stuart Cooke

About Stuart Cooke


Stuart Cooke's latest poetry collection is Opera (2016). His other books include George Dyuŋgayan's Bulu Line: a West Kimberley song cycle (2014), Speaking the Earth's Languages (2013) and Edge Music (2011). He lectures in creative writing and literary studies at Griffith University.

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