The dizzy chute,
its guttural roar,
is fifty metres yonder
where the cheeks 
of boulders
define the flow -
the supple dragon
tongue of froth
and liquid anguish

But here
behind the jagged
green-streaked protection
of “Iceberg Rock”,
the river is wide
and so serene
that in the shallows
the surface trembles
with the shadows of dragon flies
and the ticklish feet of
floating bugs.  

Seduction glistens
in the hewn
green clarity of the water,
the lip biting cold
and the wild tangle
of the national park -
ti trees, and rough-barked apple
clambering upright
against Merricumbene’s 
steep feet.

remote and clean
as pre-history,
among kingfisher poise,
cuckoo shrike gurgle,
and whip bird crack,
it’s hard to believe
we've made such a mess.

Written for:

Earthweal – Brendan requests poems about “Sanctuary”

And Mindlovemisery Menagerie’s Wordle #242

Words: dizzy, define, shallow, behind, tremble, supple, cheek, float, lip biting, believe, remote, seduction, guttural

37 thoughts on “Sanctuary

  1. I like the way you contrast the quiet peace and powerful majesty of the wilderness with the complexity and confusion of modern times. The national park you describe sounds like a wonderful sanctuary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved the sense of finding this sanctuary, first where it is not and then surprising the reader with the gentleness and sweetness of special place. The description is deliciously local. – Brendan

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A beautiful sanctuary! I love the creation of sound and movement in your poem, especially the ‘supple dragon tongue of froth and liquid anguish untamed’, and the contrast of the river ‘wide and so serene that in the shallows the surface trembles’ in the second stanza. The third stanza seems to be frozen by the ‘lip biting cold’ before it comes alive in the final stanza – yes, it is hard to believe we’ve made such a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel the same way. I live in such beauty it is painful to think what a mess we have made of this beautiful, once-plentiful garden.

    Liked by 1 person

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