Sketched upon the Cartridge
Of this morning’s beach
Wavering charcoal lines
Searching for a story
Scribbled by retreating tides.
Leaves, bark chips, small pieces of blackened timber
Not quite destroyed
Just baked in one explosive curse
Of fire and angry flames.
Charred too at the edges
Of long summer afternoons
Of tinkling glasses on shaded verandas
Of laughter and of children’s voices
Echoing in the dunes
Of watching kookaburras,
Voyeurs on tall branches.
These private moments too
Sucked into the furnace
Reduced to ash
Across the sand.
‘You only live once’
Laughed the man with the blue surfboard
As he strode across the ash-strewn beach
To where the patient sea
John Bartlett is an author of two novels and a collection of short stories.
Two of his novels are currently under consideration as TV mini-series.
In Dec 2017, his non-fiction, already published in magazines and newspapers since 2000, was released as an e-book, ‘A tiny brilliant light’.
He regularly blogs at: http://beyondtheestuary.com/