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Books & Poetry

Poem: The Pier

Books & Poetry

Stephanie Russell mourns the loss of a wooden pier surrendered to the sea in this week’s Poet’s Corner contribution.

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The Pier

Rapid Bay, South Australia

There’s a place I know in the clouds
and wafting mists of a sunless sea
where the ancient wooden legs of a pier
totter and limp their failing support
then fail altogether halfway through the story
like a mid-sentence nap
before nodding awake again
and continuing as if nothing happened
the log-laid walkway and railings the legs support
bend and contort
like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge caught mid-twist
by the blast of winds that had no right to be so brash
skindivers dived for sea things
that lived beneath the colossal wreck
they chased each other in cycles
and epicycles
of lazy interceptions
until the pier groaned in its catatonic agony of decay
and gave more of itself up to the sea
just a few days after we saw it last
after we said hi to it
and bye to it
and see you later
see you when we fall to bits at the end of our march
into a sunless sea.

Stephanie Russell lives in the Adelaide Hills and is a qualified integrative counsellor and psychotherapist specialising in transgender and gender diversity. Her tertiary qualifications include a doctorate in astronomy from the Australian National University, a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy from Adelaide University, and an Advanced Diploma in Professional Writing from the Adelaide TAFE. Her various careers have involved working in physics, astronomy and aerospace engineering. Her research directions ranged from chemical synthesis in stars and galaxies, to resilience to climate change in Indigenous communities. Her writing interests have included fictional and non-fictional short stories, and most recently poetry, and the ‘emotional heart of what it means to be human’. She is currently compiling a collection of her poems for publication.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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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