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Poem: On a Moonless Night at Grange

Books & Poetry

This week’s Poet’s Corner continues a look at Adelaide’s shoreline, with a poem from David Adès’ just-released collection Afloat in Light.

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On a Moonless Night at Grange

Tonight, the jetty has no end:
its wooden rails, bony arms outstretched,
vanish in darkness, sleepwalking west
across St Vincent Gulf.

I am here, at the city’s edge, unmoored,
looking out to an invisible sea.
No distant flickering lights appear
on water or sky, no breeze touches skin,

no movement catches the eye.
The jetty is almost deserted:
only a lone fisherman dreams,
motionless beside his empty bucket.

I step out, feet sounding remote
on the boards, a narrow strip of bleached
wood unwinding. My body slows,
slips into the rhythm of the whoosh

and murmur of unseen waves.
I drift into sleep, walk sixty-five kilometres
along these weathered planks,
wake up on the shore of Yorke Peninsula.

David Adès, was one of the first contributors to Poet’s Corner. Originally from Adelaide, he now lives in Sydney after five years in Pittsburgh in the US. His poetry has appeared in anthologies and on radio in Australia and overseas, and while in Pittsburgh he participated in the annual Hemingway Summer Poetry Readings.

In 2014 he won the prestigious University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize, and was shortlisted for the major Newcastle Poetry Prize in the same year. His book collection “Mapping the World” was published by Wakefield Press and Friendly Street in 2008, and the chapbook collection “Only the Questions are Eternal” by Garron Publishing in 2015. Today’s poem is from his new collection “Afloat in Light”, University of Western Australia Publishing, details and reviews of which can be found here.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.

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