(after the painting by Jeffrey Smart)



Winter morning, the moon

shocked by sunrise. Seabirds, salt-breeze,

the sand as yet unbroken


by human feet. Are we the first

to walk here? No, such early thoughts

are foolish. Like us,


the beach

has been washed

by a second language,


by the slow

nocturnal rhythms of black water -

see how they recede


and what they've left

                 of us.