Rileys Coast | Judith Beveridge

Wind thwacks the spinnakers as ropes are pulled

and crews tack, tilting from their trapezes. Some sails—

their race over—lie angled on the green fringes of the shore:

pale aigrettes on well-to-do ladies’ hats. Soon windsurfers

will steer sails like huge cicada wings—they’ll lean

with the slanted ease of motorcyclists rounding corners.

The longer views are of the coves, private docks, hotels

called Azure Court, The Golden Gannet, Pacific Bliss.

At night you can see the moon exposed in floor to ceiling

glass along with the tall white toques of five star chefs.

Soon there’ll be music, the bright chink of cutlery

and plates, the snare of a breeze through palm fronds;

pleasure cruisers like jewellers’ display cabinets throwing

lights onto black velvet water, a show of clear dazzle.

At the marina, yacht-masts sway along with guests

forking oysters, drinking vodka, cognac, Daiquiris

and Margaritas. Prows, pert in the water, are perfectly

embossed with mermaids—and sobriquets for money.

Judith Beveridge lives in Sydney. She has published six volumes of poetry. She was poetry editor for Meanjin from 2005-2015. Her work has been studied in schools and universities and translated into many languages. Her latest volume is Sun Music: New and Selected Poems, Giramondo, 2018.

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