Salt crusted bleached bones,

skeletons of long dead forest giants,

tangle as high-tide driftwood

along the sugar cane coast.

Upturned tree stumps like deep sea squid

clutch, with bone-dry roots,

weathered black basalt rocks.

 Core 4

We walk, as two.

My only first marriage child, a man.

Overdue salvage of jettisoned emotions

wobble up the tourist track,

Mon Repos to The Heads.

Bundaberg flood tide,

all washed up.

Core 2

We talk, shallow

along the shore of us.

Pass men on bikes with kids, with dogs,

serial joggers, time on their wrists.

A startled woman, ears trapped to elsewhere smile

casts to a deep time,

a distant boy floating on custodial tides,

drifting further away on each ebb.

 Core 6

We return, to

Kanaka-built basalt wall,

rocks muscled from blood-red soil,

slaved away to sweeten the tastes of England.

This engineered wall aligns east

to Pacific island homes,

cultured to shuck Britannia’s mothers of pearl

away from the work of dark children.

Something there is that doesn’t love this memory jogger

that binds us to our core.

peter burton

queensland regional meeting

photos by jeremy burton

core 1

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