Swimming Above the Belly of the Earth

Suppose I was a wave and the gulls’ feet
sought only to rest on my skin,
this skin that breaks at every moment
only to resurface with new tone and texture.
Suppose the undertow cared not one jot for foam
and oil, hoping to toss its loitering
mass of non-consumables through the exit of my mouth.
All my senses would be alive
with the tug of moon and tide, swimming above
the deep belly of the earth’s iron core.
Suppose this; that the juts of quartz feel fresh
in my spit and spray, and, as I lay still,
exhausted, they mirror in the calm
as mortals do before they die.
I would wash into the rhythm of sand,
embrace the fluid and unfathomable,
the air with its turbulence and hum.
Suppose these movements, wild and lithe,
have moods that change when sleepless.
Or they don’t sleep at all but wander dreamless
in vast shifting paradigms,
absorbing time with salt and lost cargo.


This poem is taken from Little Bones in Red Clay. It was also written as part of Tasmanian poets’ 2021 ‘More than human project’ curated by Kristen Lang, and was previously published in the Australian Poetry Anthology 9 and in Ginninderra Press ‘Wild’ anthology.

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