Elly McDonald


Scar Beach (1984)

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the earth stings

three-cornered jacks and salvation jane

barbs savage flesh

beer bottles, broken, and jagged jutting rocks

cut out to sea


a rip through the Heads

now tearing, now

taunting, a dagger-thrust wind

a place of impalement, by nature

defensive: here, by the shore, the hard-worked flints

sheathed in grit break off

under foot

a ghost race’s weapons still function, still strike

in a fight long since lost, while shells

slice soles: a terrain

sharp with tension

how far (how long back?) what people

lived here

how hostile (what violence?) what intrusion



what fear remains: in pain, and by force


enduring – the grey lash-scar weal of

a killer’s brand



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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