Fire Sermon

The lissome bay is silvered slightly, in its supine lightness;

a stocking-textured water

takes the morning’s cerise.


But soon, between the headlands, sea and sky are solid blues

that have closed, almost

seamlessly, like stone.


And yachts have come out to climb on the sea’s face, slow

and wavering — the way

that cabbagemoths walk.


These foreshores are deeply tented in eucalyptus saplings

and tea-trees, leaned

on the engorged light.


Here cicadas’ sizzling strapped toffee strings of sound,

filmy and flashing, fuse

into sheets, all around.


Now the rhythmical light-points shoal the water thickly

as the shift to shovelled

gravel in cicadas’ song.


Simmered eucalyptus oil vaporously uncoils, accompanying

angophoras, the dancing

Indras of rosy stone.


Dilated summer. It seems you can see into the Flame, while

light-cells teem, cicadas thrum,

to its naked sensuous events.


On the far shore, house-faces are hung, white muslin among

bush humble as rubble

in the blue Empire.


I have left everything behind, for an endpaper shore; to lie

under membranous layers, as

lights vault, coagulate, rebound 


to see one ignite another, billowing, and genealogies decline;

to watch here day’s ardour

that turns water into wine.