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Poem: Kangaroo Island

Books & Poetry

This week in Poet’s Corner, Sue Cook begins a two-part look at South Australia’s jewel in the crown, Kangaroo Island.

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Kangaroo Island: The Way to Hanson Bay

At Cape Jervis the ferry SeaLion 2000
noses its way out of dock
into Backstairs Passage;
packed vehicle parking space
below, crowded lounge
above, sea-view windows
for hordes of humans:
disparate faces, languages, bodies
jostling and joshing in holiday mode
disembark at Penneshaw.

One road to Flinders Chase
is the South Coast Road to Hanson Bay
traversing the island from east to west,
a long bitumen ribbon unfurling
beneath wheels that have to detour
onto dirt roads to see the coast.
Road kill has been shunted aside:
kangaroos and wallabies are sad humps,
black crows feast, an eagle hovers.
We pass Wolf Creek and Little Terror Creek,
now and then high revving cars
and motor bikes zip around us but locals
have been absorbed by the landscape;
rubbish bins in gaudy groups
the only signs of unseen inhabitants,
until a black chook with red comb
wanders into view.

Arrival at Hanson Bay Cabins
is off road onto a rough track,
at the end a sign promises
‘Sand, Salt & Silence for your soul’,
deep deep breaths
solitude and sea spray.

Sue Cook was a senior English teacher, during which time she also edited the South Australian English Teachers Association annual poetry anthology. Her own collections In Focus and Water Music have been published by Ginninderra Press in 2016 and this year, with the latter making her Ginninderra’s Poet of the Month for October, as promoted at East Ave Books. Her poem Frog Cakes was featured in InDaily Poet’s Corner in 2015, and as a consequence was taken up by the maker of that South Australian icon for promotional purposes. Her Kangaroo Island poem To the Island appeared in Poet’s Corner in 2016, while today’s and next week’s come from a further visit to the island this year.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to poetscorner@solsticemedia.com.au. 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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