States of Poetry 2016 - Western Australia | ‘West Coast’ by Barbara Temperton

I drive in on Daylight Saving Time
with a pale, fat moon rising
over the Moresby Ranges.
New subdivision: Ocean Heights Estate?
It looks like Sandcastle Land.

Foreshore dunes
limestone-terraced into sharp ledges:
high-priced real estate
perched at weed-wreathed ocean edge
awaiting global warming.

Blowouts hibernate
beneath a skin of Papier-mâché
seeded with sunflowers,
native pelargonium, alien grasses.
Feral pines adorn the verges, neatly
supplanting saltbush, acacia.

Roundabout windrowed by sand
directs me to my soon-to-be street.
An adult date palm, transplanted like me –
gale-force sea-breeze flaying
its skirt of fronds – inclines toward the land,
acquiescing like the sand
to the so one-sided, the so-insistent wind.

In the near distance,
waves thrash about in the shallows.
Big dogs surf the trays
of 4-wheel drives heading home
from the 4-wheel savaged beach.

In the front yard of my new rental,
two stray ridgebacks are too cock-legged busy
pissing on green reticulation flags
to acknowledge my arrival.


Barbara Temperton