Touch

Leone Gabrielle

I.

I uncoil nylon rope from foam block floats,  
tied round when not in use. Powdery
powder lifts the air.

If I can keep it long, I do.
The block is a float used for fishing
from someone with intelligence and less means.

Beautifully wound for work at sea and then. Lost …

II.

In sand, languages fade.
Fishing lines intwine in pieces
of toilet, kitchen, bath, bed, lounge. Habitat.  

Plastic toys, marine buoys,                                   
gas cylinders butterfly rusted, broken
bottles, cigarette lighters decay away. Today.

Floats, squid-jigs, pieces of boat, toothbrush, jagged combs,
deodorant, thongs, high heel shoes. Multiples of left feet … 

III.

Like stuff flung after a festival sung. Small net this beach
caught between rocks slowly sliding up stovetop sand.

Into the grasses. Up over into the scrub. Marches.

Crocodile, dingo, black necked crane,
tracks of turtles, hours old.
U-turn to the sea …

IV.

Foam blocks into flame, driftwood on top.
I burn our rubbish on a beach of rubbish
with a gust of petrol.

Nature a circle.

Disposable a culture,
decorating sacred space.

My bag of shopping, a pattern as bad as Rio Tinto’s. 

I acknowledge the Angkamuthi people of the Angkamuthi Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the Country I am writing this poem about: Vrilya Point, Western Cape York. I recognise their continuing connection to the land and waters, and thank them for protecting this coastline and its ecosystems since time immemorial. I pay my respects to Elders past and present, and extend that respect to all First Nations people.


Leone Gabrielle is a writer of poetry and prose. She lives in Seymour, a snaking river town in Central Victoria, Australia, on Tungurung country. She has been published in Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal and is the creator of several community art and poetry installations.

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