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  • Inlet
  • Judith Beveridge (bio)

The lighthouse beam swings round again lighting              the sea up all the way to the horizon. Nothing is broken yet by rain, by birds collapsing              their wings as they fall. Already the sun has tired, losing stroke. I dangle a line,

feel a few bites shuttle up and down the nylon.              Soon, I'll see the moon over the bluff, a spike wound with pale gauze, stars              spawning in the breaking swells that leak over the oars. Now, a heron, air-built,

takes off on silent hinges, and little currents swirl              around my prow as I work my arms backwards, forwards, my oars like whispering              shuttles lifting the water into fine-spun thread. Everything will change I know:

a heavy curtain of rain come, the moon slip away              as I draw harder on the oars. I know my stroke will lose rhythm in the brown              waters of the cove, but now I make round music across the bay, where even Grennan

or Davey, on the far-off jetty, their reels spinning              like a sudden volley of insects cued by the dusk, might, just possibly—when              they come into the presence of still waters—find something beautiful to say.

Judith Beveridge

Judith Beveridge was born in London, England, but has lived in Australia since 1960. She has published three books of poetry—The Domesticity of Giraffes (Black Lightning Press, 1987), Accidental Grace (University of Queensland Press, 1996), and Wolf Notes (Giramondo, 2003)—which have won major prizes. She teaches poetry at Sydney University and is the poetry editor of Meanjin.