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Books & Poetry

Poem: Bells Beach

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Jules Leigh Koch writes of something that for some is not just a pastime or sport, but a way of life ­– at any time of year.

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Bells Beach

Great Ocean Road, Victoria.

Silhouetted against the clipped edges of ocean
and beneath a collapsing sun

a lone surfer
until a wave throws out its limb

she grips on
against the bladder of the wave

quick-draws across its surface
and in a breath-holding moment

disappears into the swirling surf

balancing like a pendulum
she glides along
the interior of the wave’s curl

always ahead of the foaming jaw
closing in right behind her

swift as an express train through a tunnel

taming the wave until
it flattens out to an uncrushable wash

as she runs out of the water
with board underarm
and her reputation enhanced.

Jules Leigh Koch, born in Sydney, was raised and lives in Adelaide. The author of five poetry collections and the recipient of two South Australian Literature Grants in 2008 and 2011, he was a guest reader at the Adelaide Writers’ Week in 2017 and has been a judge for the last three biennial John Bray Poetry Awards in 2017, 2019 and 2021. He has also worked as a mentor with writers from the Richard Llewellyn Arts and Disability Trust.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments.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