IAN C. SMITH’s work has been published in Antipodes, BBC Radio 4 Sounds, The Dalhousie Review, Griffith Review, San Pedro River Review , Southword, The Stony Thursday Book, & Two Thirds North.  His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide).  He writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, and on Flinders Island.

I rationed precious pencil, notebook, checked the tideline, garnered flotsam from sea-wrack to supplement my meagre conveniences.  At dawn, arcing that cove, sliver of sunlight blessing water, wave-beat at my back, upwind of them shielded by giant stacks cloaked in orange, I shivered in slipped time.  Behind a bark windbreak they squatted, wallaby hunters sharpening stones, wrists slender, eucalyptus smoke in the cove’s tresses incense waft evoking ritual, piercing me, my beloved distant, with memories, loneliness.  Gutted ormer shells, mussels, glistened, tea-tree trembling in this constant offshore wind.  A woman lulled a child with breast comfort.  Working rhythmically, voices guttural in tribal certainty, fur-clad, festooned, sometimes chanting in harmony, they put me in mind of honour, tradition.  Hastening back to my makeshift camp around the shoe of the bay in sudden sunburst, fervid to record time, place, impressions, I gazed back across that light-blessed strand, the threnody of Roaring Forties water-wind-wash the only music still heard, this remembered from long ago.

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