Elly McDonald

Writer

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

claws

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

resisted

resented

what fear remains: in pain, and by force

grafted

enduring – the grey lash-scar weal of

a killer’s brand

 

 

Author: Elly McDonald

Art lover. Loves her family and companion animals. Worked in the Australian rock music industry as a journalist and published widely as a poet before moving to London and spending the better part of a decade in advertising agencies. Returned to Australia and briefly tried teaching, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees but also as a high school classroom teacher. Has travelled Western Europe, North Africa, Russia, Northern India, East Asia, coastal USA, some Pacific Islands, and Australia.

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