Ned a wombat boiler, has left the middle
of the land and has found
the city limits…
Ned wet his lips with the wattle balls
hung along the rail corridor, which
he found easiest to follow, padding over
nature strips as he sped through
the suburbs to the sea.
The crash of ocean shore called Ned
from a dry life of blood and dust
and the odd roo for company.
He wished for the cool forgiveness,
that spoke in sandy dreams,
spin drifting through the desert night
with the ebb and flow of the spinifex.
When Ned had reached the city centre,
he sang aloud:
“I have slipped at night,
the sleeping lands
of the sea sore,
and have come to a sleepless place,
with shaking stars
and the wreak of urine
on the breath
of the sleeping earth.
Yet will I find the waves
for waves woo me
and will it that I love them
and leave the desert life.
And their crash is the louder here
in this another desert,
where stars have fallen
like shot birds to the ground.”
Ned was nourished by the hard echo
of his singing in the night and the fear
of the desert still tickled his neck.
Undeterred by the hard lack of lawn
or the tangled rail ways, he set to
in the way he heard
in his inmost ear…
and soon enough sand stung Ned’s
forehead and sifted through the buttons
of his oily shirt. Ned saw that this
was new sand, a cool old thing
that had time and water all
wrapped up in itself,
and he plunged into the slush of it
at the shore.
His stuff was in the drink and his shoes
were full too, but he only cared for the wet grip
at his waist and at his chest.
The brine loved and cured Ned.
He rolled round with the slippery
whiting and weed like crocodile
and tourist, his body in a twist.
in the cob webbed froth, moon lit,
Ned could be seen pawing
at the wave face,
pots and boiler bag
shining and plunging
as he foamed out ever further
into the sandy, star flung