sabres at patterson river

a flotilla of flat-bottomed sabres
red triangled teeth atop the white of a single sail
forty strong and tacking as a shoal         tightly bunched
with a solitary straggler to the rear
and one that is running hard to port and pointed
at the piece of flour-soft yellow sand
marked out as my personal territory by a towel and a book
and the clear blue overlay of cloudless sky


I have waited these three slow-passing months
of damp and lukewarm pseudo-summer
for such a day of unambiguous stinging heat
and the salt water is already autumn sharp
in a rapid-cooling contrast to the dry temperature
concentrated inches above the asphalt of a baking carpark
and the bleached loose grains that lie above water level
the slap of small-wave motion –
enough to force the awkwardness of balance on tip-toes
with each rise in depth towards the nethers –
is worth endurance for the clean freshness
of first submersion and aquatic acclimatisation


the wind is on the rise         the water shows a small white-headed chop
and is less attractive for the uncommitted
sabre teeth are sentinel poles and singing metal lines
pulled up before the club-rooms and above the high-water mark
various parties are packing up and going home
despite the forty five degrees of sun that still remains before curtain fall
on this Patterson River of powdered beach         gulls
and boats navigating the river-mouth channel in search of a berth
a broken trail of bright and silver shivers in their wake
reflects the last remnants of a Sunday on the bay

© Frank Prem, 2002



3 thoughts on “sabres at patterson river

  1. Pingback: Screenwriter/Scriptwriter Interview Q&A – Shane Weisfeld – “Freezer” starring Dylan McDermott, Yuliya Snigir & Peter Facinelli (Action/Crime Thriller Film) | toofulltowrite (I've started so I'll finish)

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