Elly McDonald


Janie (1983)

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Janie is a sea monster

On the beach, they don’t know yet

serpent in the brine, green-eyed and unholy

She cuts breakers to size and devours

the shore with each wave. She slashes

bitter salt-whips across the bone-white flesh of the

sand. She smashes

fists of glass; they shatter they pierce callous shrapnel

assassin blades of foam

Janie threshes barbed, brutal coils

causing dangerous rips, gouging depth out of

shallow. The froth, a frenzy of jade

Sun-plated, chill as armour and rage

She’s a deep-sea dragon, malice embodied

She is vengeful

The wrath of the excluded, elemental

force. An agent of retribution

She eyes the beach-towels, beach-balls, umbrellas

all the people in all the lycra-bright colours


Janie in the ocean

Author: Elly McDonald

Australian-born, with English mother, has lived in several Australian cities and in London. Travelled widely. Way way back when, published widely as a poet and short story writer.

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