Title: Sport 37

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, 2009, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 37: Winter 2009

David Beach

page 174

David Beach

Scenery 7

White-skirted, helmeted, from this angle
the lighthouse appears to be crowding the
cliff edge, concerned to catch the sun's
first rays rather than with emitting any
of its own. The cliff face is ochre-hued
and plant-free, as if looking for the sun
might be thought redundant. About halfway
up, trailing lines of sedimentation,
which become clearer at this height, a
serpent's head protrudes—the elements
conducive to maritime safety, a
practically seamless fit where ocean
encounters cliff base, but still the risk
of being mythologically harassed.

page 175

Scenery 9

The lawn-calm bay still manages a
flourish of surf all the way round to
the houses congregating amidst trees
on the point. A strip of sand, narrow
but impeccably golden, makes a
similarly comprehensive sweep. This
doubly-inscribed curve finds an echo in
the bare, brown hill which rises above the
settlement. The pier ventures a straight
line, such a delicate affair one might
expect to spot a boat-sized spider
rather than a boat. The length of the pier
again, the sea is hosting a mystery,
a raft or buoy or log from Australia.

Scenery 10

A clump of cabbage trees is growing where
nothing else has managed to, the river
flats. Whitened branches lie about as
if a testament to the challenging
environment. While to anthropomorphise
seems hardly different from describing
the trees, spiky topknots in evident
confabulation. No less intrepid than
hardy, they look like they might themselves
only be passing through, the topic of
their discourse—these the ultimate testing
habitat, to scale and (self-flag) take root
upon—the mountains which, after some
intermediary forest, lord it behind.

page 176

Scenery 12

A catamaran has been run up on
a beach. The denseness of the native bush
and the vivid hues of bush, sea and sand
contend strongly for this being the first
time humans have reached the spot, or at
the very least that it can only be
reached by boat. There are several kayaks on
the sand a little along from the yacht,
mariners bending to them—submariners
they might seem, not on the sea's margin
but its bed—some such explanation needed
for the other-worldly brightness—if that,
then the sea having its own sea, and one
guesses so on, oceans within oceans.