The Fire on the Sand

Wild waterspouts put tendrils down to naked sea.
White water sucking bait-fish into the heavens
Migloo, puffing whale, meanders northward
As Minjerriba slumbers under a soft molten sky

Island serpent hidden in sand takes refuge from mining
Pumps, centrifuges and scoundrels building castles
Standing high on dune called Bippo Penbean
Overlooking Vance – a mining ruin
Grass trees planted in rows by machine

Sovereign rights held by Quandamooka people
Always was, always will be, aboriginal land
Mining leases rigged as security cameras set up on bush tracks
To deter walkers

whale shark remora
Whale Shark and Remora

Government practices simple arithmetic in mine and space
Foreign machines process coloured sands without a worker in sight
Upside down swimming dolphin calf at North Gorge
Sun become amber and then crimson

Finally wind worn sea eagle, Karboora, dies
And there was fire on the sand

Gannets poised aloft dive for fish
Winter whiting arrived at last,
Braminy Kite lingers as the moon rises,
Wild whales encrusted pass Point Lookout
Followed by despot yatch on a democratic sea
And wet suited surfers are bonding beyond the waves
As fishermen jag fish out of crowded schools

A low necked gull asserts dominance in the flock,
Picking over carcasses

And Dolphins murder mullet on the edge of a cruel sea

Ian Curr
June 2011

[Music accompaniment and photo by Trevor Berrill on rythmn guitar. Graeme Walker was on lead guitar. Ian Curr was on harmonica.
Tune was ”Diamonds on the River” by Ian Curr with improvisations by Trevor & Graeme. This recording was made at Bim Bimbi on Lamington plateau on New Year’s eve 2011 – thanks also to Claire, Katherine & Sue for background noises provided while hand making delicious pasta.]

Thanks to all the Straddie poets who inspire – Oodgeroo, Judith Wright and Sam Watson. The title of this poem was inspired by Douglas Stewart’s radio play “The Fire on the Snow”. The poem was written in the month of June 2011  thanks to the love and support from Katherine – wonderful fruitcakes by Aidan – & Tango for his infectious enthusiasm but doubtful intelligence and the many friends that visited (and others that couldn’t) and made the month such fun. The phrase ‘a democratic sea’ comes from a Cuban poet whose name escapes me (thanks Lach).

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