Depot Beach Walk

early afternoon on a late winter day
sun emphasised after dreary skies
bushy cliff side exuding moisture
track muddied from fresh filled pockets

beach is empty bar two grey-power surfies
placing boards on their departure home
as our car doors close

we walk from sand to tessellated pavement
sucked to greater size by receding water
producing stepped wringing waterfalls
the inexorable changing tide will suffocate
wet curtains creep closure to the show
we by luck are privileged to see

pooled water attracts a blue slate heron
pin supported wades probing food holes
watching warily as we capture with our digital
exposed a flat rock route to Pebbly Beach

dumped red plastic fish box inspected
caught by sea from some far-off trawler
colour now jaded and barnacled
it’s only catch cornered sand dregs

abalone shells are clustered by the wash
cunje storm torn from rock anchorage
lie untethered stumped and knuckled
the fisherman’s delight festering on open sand
spoon tail scooped cuttlefish collected
eagerly placed in your shopping bag
but we, with no birds, will give away

leave the shell foot crunch for the sandy apron
the approach to the Pebbly encampment
we stumble upon a dead baby seal
there is no downwind warning to alert decay
a fur matted heap with head stolen
one pink flip of a foot showing

the grassy sloped entrance
Murramarang National Park – and jonquils in white profusion!
remnant bulbs reminder to previous habitation
white heads dance counterpoint to the pacific rollers
we are so surprised by this Spring herald

time to leave beach sunning kangaroos
for the return to the car deposit
take care with footing on green weeded rock
fairy wrens trip out to the sand
tail flipping females perform procreation music

you look out beyond the breakers
to the hill huddled dwellings above Depot Beach
with Grasshopper Island in full light
saying the scene ‘is indescribable …’
describing further the indescribable
‘… breath taking …’ promotes my inner smile

then literally out of the blue
propellers turning lazily with dull drone
so big and low and out of place
a naval plane hugs the coast
on a slow track trajectory to the Nowra base
just as quick the grey metallic disappears
but the afternoon is broken
and the island has a shadow

we reach the car as new surfies arrive
the onus of their day over
local telegraph summoned
to the swell conditions that prevail
wet suit prepare for immersion
change as we drive away
our backs thought to hide their bodies
but unknown we see all in the mirror
the car corners and gives privacy
returns the sea to their exclusion

we take home a special treasure for a six year old
a shell secreted feather duster worm tube

escaping the early evening chill
and exercised enough to sauce the coming meal
take the dirt road back towards the highway
scenery zippering in behind
wood smoke strengthens in hazy spiral
car lights needed now as light fades –

but Spring has already been declared

© Richard Scutter 30 July 2006

Tessellated pavement waterfalls - Depot Beach NSW - July 06


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