The Shoals at Middle Head, Sydney Harbour, by JF Englert

At evening the cockatoos tilt west-
Leaning and the eucalypts do not sigh
As that which burdened weightless once again
Departs to follow the sloping limbs of sky.
The bats are coming, colonies streaming
From the city to the Morton Bay Figs.
But that is later. First the whisper change
Or the change of day into a whisper.
Then the gold apocalypse, the fire
That does not burn. Somewhere on the water,
Perhaps afloat at Middle Head, a man
Paddles his craft close in to the rock face
Beneath the Russian guns, barren turrets,
And traces hypnotic patterns there with
Lift and drop of water lulling a sleep
As if none could be safer than in the swell
Encradled. The sea coaxes a meeting.
But the man knows the price of wanting land
Too much and deep water too little.

***

JF Englert is co-founder of the Sydney Writers Project – a new writing school – with fellow Sydney novelist Michael White. He is also the author of a series of novels about the adventures of an extraordinary dog named Randolph.

A Dog about TownA Dog Among Diplomats: A Bull Moose Dog Run MysteryA Dog at Sea: A Bull Moose Dog Run Mystery

The Australian Literature Review
www.auslit.net

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5 Responses to The Shoals at Middle Head, Sydney Harbour, by JF Englert

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  5. Claire Mitchell says:

    Hi there
    I am writing a book about walks around Mosman, which also includes history and food destinations. I was hoping to be able to include the following passage from your poem in the section covering Middle Head.
    “Somewhere on the water,
    Perhaps afloat at Middle Head, a man
    Paddles his craft close in to the rock face
    Beneath the Russian guns, barren turrets,
    And traces hypnotic patterns there”
    from – The Shoals at Middle Head, Sydney Harbour, by JF Englert
    Thanks for your consideration
    Cheers Claire Mitchell

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