Rohan Buettel lives in Canberra, Australia. His haiku appear in various Australian and international journals including Presence, Cattails and The Heron’s Nest. His longer poetry appears in more than forty journals, including The Goodlife Review, Rappahannock Review, Penumbra Literary and Art Journal, Passengers Journal, Reed Magazine, Meniscus and Quadrant.
Tea Tree Bay
A strong south-easterly brings the big swells:dumping waves blown out on the exposed expanse of Sunshine Beach; but attenuated as they round successive headlandsof the national park to a north-facing stripwhere they become perfectly formed barrels off the point. No time to sit on towelsbeneath the desultory shadeof pandanus palms, with leaves a fanof keen-edged carving knives, stilt roots standing hands of bananas, and prickly, warty trunks. The surf is singing its siren song. I take the thruster under arm and lope along the sandy track to launch from the rocks. No one here but me and John with his kneeboard, praying to kneel inside a wet pipe and give thanks for all that nature provides.The headlands protect this wave from the wind and the swells arrive with the regularity of trains. Hands grip the rails, an easy boardingfor a long journey. But miss your stop and youare brought up short in the marshalling yardsagainst a rock shelf with the incessant shunting, the pounding, of an impact zone;exhausting; the only escape risking your board to step up the ledge. Each wave is a dose of adrenalin, two or three enough to leave you satiated, the session timed-out, but the memory of this —will last a life-time.
The rings of Saturn head onare so thin they disappear,yet on their side so wideyou could skate acrosstheir icy shining surface.They are kept in line by shepherding moonsmeticulouslyrearranging the positionof constituent elementswith each passing phase.They are long-play records,each track marked by a gapin the pickup’s passage,a place of resonancewith orbiting bodies.These beautiful ringsalthough depletedand still losing mass,will remain a constantfor hundreds of millions of years.All verities decay until,ripped apart by tidal forces,a moon becomes rings,debris of ice and rockinside the Roche limit.Disintegrate or coalesce,self-attraction is alwaysat odds with tidal forces.