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During the pandemic

A freighter hovers on the skyline -

a temporary focus as the morning

creeps down the cliff face and the sea 

foams white over rocks below. This

is the time when volleyball should wake

the beach and early ageing joggers 

shake the morning briskly alert. 

Not now. The virus has locked that 

firmly away. Squadrons of gulls

possess the beach unchallenged but the waves

reach out with their unceasing call

for some response from us, their

daily companions. Well, this is how we reply –

our longing gaze across the empty beach

to where a freighter vanishes beyond

the headland and the sun lights up

another day of waiting and suspense…


Andrew Taylor is the author of seventeen books of poetry, including Collected Poems (Salt, UK 2004), The unhaunting (Salt, UK 2009), and Impossible Preludes (Margaret River Press, 2016). He has published much literary criticism, and written the libretti for two operas, as well as translating poetry from German and Italian. In 1975 he co-founded Adelaide’s Friendly Street Poets, Australia’s oldest continuous public poetry reading, and later the South Australian Writers’ Centre. Since leaving Perth in 2014 he divides his time between Sydney and Wiesbaden in Germany.

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