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Breakfast - Poem by Martin Harrison

As early as this - it’s just after dawn - you’re overwhelmed by the glimmering of things.
The grasses, the rocks, the bluff and its shelves, inland hakeas, casuarinas, some sort of
mountain ash, I’m not sure which. Then the blue-veined, opalescent smear of lake
which fills up the middle ground, a long expanse of daybreak light on water. Down
there, squalls of wind pockmark it, as if it’s been scattered with grit. Up here it’s
completely windless, while, far away through the air’s greyness, the opposite side’s
wide blond plain starts coming clear - it’s a shore of unfenced grazing country now
dotted with trees.
Dark cover which starts half way up those slopes turns out to be just more trees,
thicker, more dense. If this side’s anything to go by, mainly storm-battered yellow box
and hakeas. Above them, along the ridge’s tops a band of white glow takes the
northerly skyline. Of course, distance across water can easily fool: those trees are
fifteen kilometres away.

...Something close to that.

The sky gets paler and paler.

Air’s already dry, resonant with the months of drought we’ve been having.
Overhead, two streaked vapour trails broaden into hastily brushed scumble - gigantic
scribble marks crazily laddered across vacancy. It’s as if someone’s leant them there,
knowing they’d make an optical illusion, puzzling to work out. They can’t be Sydney
with its curfew. (“Melbourne to Darwin, Melbourne to Singapore,” I’m thinking.) And
over here: a steep dropp down to a fishing-jetty where the camp-sites are wrongly



A crow sheers away in the trees beneath this slope. It knows its caw-caw’s have
been heard a thousand times before. So common I instantly forget it. I’m not trying to
fix the two crimson rosellas, either, which have been rough-housing inside a gangly,
smashed tree directly to the left. Their presence easily slips beneath awareness, too.
They’ve quietened for a moment into typical chitter-chatter of high pitched half
-squealing. The sound’s “sweet”: glistening like a stem of blood-red berries.



The entire memory of waking, a quarter of an hour ago, might also be handed back to
forgetfulness, incurring no loss. Together with its other pristine sight: the long-limbed
grey kangaroo stretched out on the grass with her two young. (It’s a while before I see
them). The dry white grass where they’re lying is beaten down, as if this is a regular
sleeping-place. The mother’s reclining on her flanks, the joeys are hunched over
grazing. When they see me they don’t panic but get up slowly. They’re eyeing me.
Very carefully. Ignoring me, as if they know the speed with which they can vanish into
air. Right there, a “vanishing act” is exactly what they do. I look out across a turquoise
braid of water for a few seconds. When I look back they’ve not been fooled. Quiet as
noiseless wind, they’ve left



Too easy to say that could be the day’s excitement.

And the results of dawn twilight’s scattered happenings?

Why fix them unless there’s some pressure, some disturbance?

Isn’t it enough just to be a hunter of images, a hunter of things?

Is it the scale of this water which dislocates?

Years after it’s been put here, it never quite fits.

Will it never accommodate this double valley’s contours?

Are its pearl-blue acreages shore-nibbled, spread-eagled?



Hard, then, not to fit in what’s over there on the left, two or three kilometres away. I
knew it was there. Of course. But it shifts the drama of the moment like a sudden cut
in a movie. Every motive, every gesture has to be re-examined. It’s the rear view of the
half-exposed dam wall and, past it, a spur jutting out into the lake: a drowned quarry
abstractly chopped out from what’s left of a hillside. A sliced half of a hill, cut apart as if
by a sea.

So now it looks like an enormous mass of water is bearing down on the rock face:
every ripple carries weight, every windrow blusters towards it. The sense it gives (the
half-thought-out link) is water piling up before an island’s vertical cliffs. The whole
movement pressures an immense oceanic space, but then of course there’s the wall of
the dam, saying: No, this is not an island. We’re far over the Dividing Range. This is
inland, not island.

The truth is: the lake’s being human, humanly made, offers the viewer a
hugeness not that different from transcendence. It dwarfs any thought of it. Only a
dream-fragment can be kept in mind. Floods roar down gulleys like a front of wild
horses. Natural lakes are (bad rhyme) the sky’s eyes. Was I dreaming that? When? (A
line close to one already in another poem might be: This lakes’s wind-blackened surface
now winks back. Or: It is and always was a decision, and could be error). Yet
the effect’s deliberate, not casual or dreamlike. It’s light on water. It’s like a balance,
like an equipoise. And then, no, it’s not. A rippling lake surface, the water can’t
conceive that it’s here or that I’m looking at it or that it has any connection with
desertification, salinity, river silts. For all that, it has to be said that reality doesn’t
arrive as a lake. It arrives as an angel knocking on the door, pointing out how many
things make up a world. Waking up, what it pointed to was this drowned valley, the
yellow-box, the ash, the still night-covered hill, the weight of wind and water. The
weight of design and engineering. What it lit up was a complex moment in perception
where to conceive a dam’s bearing towards human nature requires the same skills as
the resolution of any ethically knife-edge, historically many-sided issue. In our time, for
example, some Israel, some country in the Middle East. It’s exactly at the point when I
realise how each dropp of water, hanging in these hills, is gathering to fruition that I
realise, too, how far the night’s behind me and I’m fully awake.


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Poems About Water

  1. 1. Breakfast , Martin Harrison
  2. 2. Scarcity Of Water. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  3. 3. Million Years Old Water. , veeraiyah subbulakshmi
  4. 4. London’s Water , C Richard Miles
  5. 5. Water Water , gajanan mishra
  6. 6. Travel Haiku - Thai New Year The Songkran , john tiong chunghoo
  7. 7. Water , chandra thiagarajan
  8. 8. Streams Of Living Water Will Flow , Terence George Craddock (Spe ..
  9. 9. River Fish. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  10. 10. Water, The Matter , Bashyam Narayanan
  11. 11. It's Impossible , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  12. 12. We'Re All Fishing In The Muddy Water , MOHAMMAD SKATI
  13. 13. A Drink Is Nowhere! , Ramesh T A
  14. 14. Cleansing Water , Paula Glynn
  15. 15. That Body Of Water Is Mine , Aldo Kraas
  16. 16. #water , maitreyee joshi
  17. 17. Water , Jessie Hopkins
  18. 18. Zen Poetry Of Water , Nyein Way
  19. 19. River Without , gajanan mishra
  20. 20. From Mother To Daughter From Mother To D.. , Sandra jacks
  21. 21. There Is No Place , gajanan mishra
  22. 22. Summer Night , Framarz Bagheri
  23. 23. Healthy Ageing , Wendell Belden
  24. 24. Leaping Salmon , Anthony Dalby
  25. 25. Water Scarcity , Nandu Nishok
  26. 26. A Scream Within The Tunnel (Trapped) , Vision Ghost
  27. 27. 06 Water , Athul KrishnaA
  28. 28. The Song Of Hiawatha Xvii: The Hunting O.. , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  29. 29. The Thoughtful Journey. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  30. 30. Blue Waters , Mark Heathcote
  31. 31. Rippling Water , Adam Lindsay Gordon
  32. 32. Ode To The Oysters Of Apalachicola , Sidi J. Mahtrow
  33. 33. Rain Water. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  34. 34. To Stand By The Sea For The Moon Light W.. , Raymond Sawyer
  35. 35. Water, Water , David Stainton
  36. 36. A Bridge Over Troubled Water , The Poet Keri
  37. 37. What The Frack? , Gregory Allen Uhan
  38. 38. But No Heat , gajanan mishra
  39. 39. Recycle Flow , Ima Ryma
  40. 40. Rain Is The Basis , gajanan mishra
  41. 41. We Have To Protect Water Sources. , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  42. 42. Everything You Have To Pay For This Days , Aldo Kraas
  43. 43. Water , Is It Poetry
  44. 44. Flood , Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
  45. 45. For The Sake Of My Cup Half-Full* , Tushar Ray
  46. 46. Fire And Water , matt daffern
  47. 47. Water, Water , Harley White
  48. 48. A World Without Water , Angela Wybrow
  49. 49. Utpal Kumar Basu: Selected Poems , RUDRA KINSHUK
  50. 50. Water Of Life , Reinette J.v Rensburg
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