Academic journal article Hecate

Song Cycle for Rottnest

Academic journal article Hecate

Song Cycle for Rottnest

Article excerpt

The people are leaving the place of the ferry.

They are thinking about sliding into the cool, blue waters of the bay;

they are thinking about the fish and the crayfish

swimming, catching in the clear waters of the bay;

they are thinking about the place of beer and being drunk.

The people are leaving the place of the ferry;

the children are running first,

carrying surf boards, carrying body boards;

The tall man is carrying a small television; his beer paunch wobbles.

The woman follows the tall man and running children;

she wears sunglasses with gold frames sun-shining

at the place of the large island ferry.

There is a swinging gold chain round her neck;

there are gold earrings;

she wears a gold link belt round her waist.

They go for the sitting-down frothy coffee,

to the sticky bun bakery.

It is the season of beer, buns, pizza, fish and chips, red rooster.

The mainland is the faraway faint line of haze lost

in the clouds of the long weekend.

The ball of the red-blood sun hangs in the western sky;

Venus, the evening star, hangs in the western sky

the sun and Venus hang over the holiday island.

In the soft, quiet evening they will holiday talk;

They will talk about the best way to cook crayfish;

some will say to put the live crayfish in cold water

and bring slowly to the boil -- claws stay on then.

They will say to put the crayfish in fresh water

to drown in long bubbles;

some will say to put the crayfish straight in the boiling water;

they will say to cover ears and slam the lid down hard.

They will say all these things in the quiet, soft evening

in the place of the holiday talk.

They will be angry about plans to change their drink place,

the place with the long, sweeping views of the bay;

at that place they loll in long, boozy afternoons;

At that place the young let their hair down

and stumble home late to the holiday chalets.

The beam from the lighthouse sweeps across the deep, dark bay;

the beam sweeps across the bobbing boats,

across the Bertrams, the Frasers, the Rivieras. …

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