Robert Gray




Beach Shack

It’s overgrown with vines, but I
push out the gritty, cracked window,
just arrived. A usual storm,
soon. Grass is ochre, even so.

A slant fence, where currawongs* fall.
The east seems tar, paint-slapped thickly,
and a scalloped surf keeps passing
along the headland, radiantly.

At most times drab, now the other
white places on this slope throw back
a light that’s granular, over-proof.
Broken pickets, then water’s black,

on which the foam rises and soars
to land, ablaze in it spread flight.
About the yard amble warbling
those currawongs, in black and white.


* Currawong, also called piping-crow, or crow-shrike, any of several 
songbirds of the Australian family Cracticidae (order Passeriformes). 
They are large, up to 50 centimetres (20 inches) long, with black, gray, 
or black-and-white plumage and yellow eyes.