Fading away

I don’t walk alone very often anymore

A set of single footprints tracking across

Dirt like soot

Mashing gum leaves the color of a pastel rainbow

Dusty pink, wattle and lime

My thoughts carry me like a conversation

Over the burning rise to the spinifex

Her shimmering mass before us

Glimmering and sliding

Clouds like clotted cream just above the brim of my straw hat

I read to take my mind off the silence

The absence of questions

My voice unpracticed and rasping when I said “don’t worry about it”

To the wet lady like an emperor penguin and her leaping sanded dog

Children lost and alone on trains

And I’m walking further from mine

She greets me across the crisped plates of sand

Holding my calves and licking the inside of my knees

I walk the length of the bay where my grandmother rests

The still-high sun forming a delicate weave of white light across the tops of the water

I sing softly to myself stopping to pinch between my thumb and forefinger a bright red crab, also sleeping

And I think of the joy the boy would get from such a sight

I greet her


As if she is imprisoned in bronze and ninety degree angles

When she is everywhere

And nowhere

The motes of dust and the salt in the waves

What a fucking terrifying life this is

As we all



I embark on a circumnavigation

Astounded at what this body

Can do

As I clasp cliff faces

Lurch across divides

Still singing inching myself up the sandstone

Climbing the stomach of a fallen beast

Never looking down

I trace the outline of a fossilized shell

Her concertina edges

Note the crabs (still scuttling)

And two prawns stranded in a hollowed out bowl

Filled with sea water

Obscuring themselves behind the mustard seaweed like pearls, like bubbles

This lunar landscape

Pocked and sculpted

By lamenting winds

I plunge into salt and weed

And pick my feet up across the homeward


Buoyed and blooming,


Irises digging into the last of this day’s light

As I whisper goodbye

Published by chloeroselilly

Samples of my poetry, fiction and personal essays in amongst real life

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