You can keep your foreign travel, mate,
out here the world comes to you—
washes up in the big blue, stretching out
far as I can see and held back
by the desert
by the dust—
they meet in anger with them waves spitting
and shooting up into blowholes
and Tombstones eating boards all day.
Don’t go out there if you’re not experienced
she’ll eat y’up for dinner mate;
big heavy wave with a warped barrel
just waiting to take on the best the world has to offer:
they all come out here.
Gnaraloo, Ningaloo, Red Bluff, Eight Mile;
mile after mile
reefer nights, deep sleep
scent of salt, taste of sea—
all waiting for the taking…
This place is the best man,
come here, you don’t wanna leave.
Explains all those beat up old vans,
the v-dubs and shacks growing into the scenery,
part of the bay…
Waves rollin’ in forever,
but you gotta remember, as the sign says:
King Waves Kill.
But there’s no place else I’d call home,
no place else to watch the moon rise over desert and drop
When I’ve got dirt at my back and spray in my face
grainy, pale, yielding with my gait
then I know I’m home,
More about this poem
The title of this poem comes from a sign in Western Australia near Carnarvon – in the photo above. Red Bluff, Gnaraloo and Tombstones are all on Australia’s mid-west coast and a mecca for surfers. The poem tries to capture a specific voice, an Australian old timer, talking about the place he lives, the place he loves. I tried to capture the rambling voice trotting out his regular spiel about his home to the various outsiders he meets. He’s just growing into the scenery.
© Ammie-oy 2010