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Poem: Beachside Tales

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Lindy Warrell captures some of the sights, sounds and fare of her beachside home, Glenelg.

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Beachside Tales

Glenelg, South Australia

A half-jetty walk today
Sunday on the pier
a good view as girls recline
and upright youths jiggle round
fooling with their Frisbees.
Not much has changed.

A lily-white girl with shiny blue hair
strode among scouring pigeons
and scowling gulls,
an automaton-designer match for
sand and sky in her apricot bikini
outside a fenced-off, brolly-hotel,
a members-only clubhouse on beach
with a 1960s Goa vibe;
pricey shade for those who can afford
to laze and canoodle in comfort. No need for
55+ sun block. She could only look in
and burn.

In the foreshore’s free, imported-palm shade,
painted, canvas-hooded stands offer
smiles, games and rides for families
while lovers bond,
young mothers tend babes
and dads calm fretful infants
after tickling them half to death.
Not much has changed.

Shops stay open along the way
coffee and cake, fish and chips,
hamburgers, all-day breakfast, pub roasts and booze
next to Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese,
Italian, African, Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisines
so, perhaps some things have changed, yet

this is a throw-away peachy-beachy world
where bins disgorge mountains of styrofoam,
plastic cutlery, cups and bags that mimic jelly-fish,
defying the best efforts
of fish, flies, maggots and seagulls.

Lindy Warrell was born and raised in pubs and worked in them for many years across Australia and in the outback before becoming an anthropologist. As a poet, she writes mostly in free verse of pressing moments and random things. A number of her poems have been published in anthologies, journals and online, and her first chapbook collection Ol’ Girl Can Drive in the Ginninderra Press Picaro Poets series, was launched last month. Now retired to the seaside suburb of Glenelg, she is working on her second novel. Her previous InDaily poem about Glenelg 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Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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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