Elly McDonald


Underwater (1982)

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When he speaks he hears his voice

distorted, shrill – faraway

When he moves

he meets resistance; his progress is stifled

confused, he can’t feel –

no feet, no ground

like living underwater

this stark, still environment tints his vision

chill green

strident luminosity but

he’ll adjust. He’ll grow

clear hard scales, his blood

will run cold – transform to

survive. He’ll learn;

a dampened organism, tongues

insinuate, forever

in motion. He’ll see

through shell-pale eyes now

salt won’t sting

Author: Elly McDonald

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 tried teaching, primarily teaching English to non-English speaking, newly-arrived refugees but also briefly 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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