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The Prom

January 23, 2012

I have posted infrequently over the last few months, but that may change this year. Not exactly a New Year’s resolution, more a sense that 2012 will be more creative. I finished 2011 with a week’s holiday at Wilson’s Prom. If that doesn’t immediately conjure for you beautiful surf beaches, peace, the reed-lapped river, birdsong… well, I hope you have an alternative paradise somewhere in this world.

Here are some poems I wrote while I was there. By the way, I’m currently reading Stephen Fry’s book, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within. He’s very funny – which is a bonus in an instructional text – but is also teaching me a lot about writing verse. For those poets who already know about and appreciate (and perhaps even positively demand) close attention to poetic style, iambic pentameter and all, please forgive the lack of education so evident in my Prom poems.  I hope you enjoy ’em anyway.


 I woke up fuzzy, full of doubt and fear,

But I went for a walk from Tidal River to Picnic Bay,

Waded through shales of gold leaves in tea-tree tunnels on possum-soft dirt,

Looked out over clear waters to seaspray islands,

Climbed over rusty granite boulders,

Carrying my thongs in my hand,

Pricking my soles on tiny shells,

And the wind polished my face with salt crystals

And there were warm holes in the shallows

And the sand at Squeaky Beach squeaked underfoot

And we did indeed have a picnic of cashews and water,

So I came back loving you and the world again.


Norman Beach

A wide chunk of fair sand –

Endless walk to the water

Lapping up against the luminous rock

Under a gentle sky.

If this were Hawaii, we’d be ‘Excuse me, excuse me’

– just finding a place to sit!

And there’d be radios and neon surf shacks and shit.

But there are instead a few families and the surge of waves

And the tea-coloured stream flowing out to meet the green under the busy eyes of gulls

And space.



There is a spot in my mind

That I can almost see

That feels like something good and peaceful

That is beyond my talk

That lies beyond wondering

That is just that.


A man and his child

A young man carried a baby on his hip.  He, the man, was frowning and looking for something – his wife, his thongs in the sand, his next meal, his God, I don’t know.  All the while, the baby bounced along, smiling under her downy hair and chatting to her dad who was busy searching.  She, the baby, laughed in recognition of me, another person who was interested.  I thought, how wise the one, how young the other.



 A cockatoo took to the wind above the river,

alone and silent,

home hunting,

flight flapping

on butter-tipped wings

While I benched on the path below,

green-grassed and grieving

watching, wishing, in wingless unbless,

for a crash-landed past.


Two blue wrens hip-hopped

Among the reeds

Sway bopping

On bent bows

Of woodwind grass

To the wind’s upbeat.


Photo:  The photo was taken at Wilson’s Prom by photographer and fellow-scribe, Bob Thornhill.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2012 7:56 am

    Fran i’m so pleased you have posted these wonderful poems on your blog. Now the inner poet has been set free I hope there will be many more.
    Love Bob’s photo, it’s stunning and goes so beautifully with these poems.

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