All day the sky had been an empty promise
then, crossing the park,
the rain came like a visitation,
the wind rousing the Norfolks
into a frenzy of flagellation.
Then it was gone,
leaving Freo freshwashed
and bathed in a quality of light
usually reserved for heaven.
Under the rail bridge
the river uncoiled through the freezeframed harbour
like an oiled anaconda
and the train skated over the scales of this reptilian mystery.
Out from Leighton, yachts and oil tankers
rode the dolphinslick sea.
A pale yelloworange band
cleaved the sea and sky
as the bluegrey roof of cloud slowly collapsed
under the weight of darkness.
Rottnest was a five o’clock shadow on the horizon.
Surfers bobbed like seals, rising
to snatch the last wave
of polished jade
from the encroaching night.
Ó Andrew M. Bell
The poet wishes to acknowledge The Press (Christchurch) in whose pages this poem was published.