Intense blues walking above Hawker Beach early this morning. There’s a strong offshore blowing and, beyond the shelter of the shoreline, I see the swirls of wind on the water in sprays and eddies, like watercolour paint booms, the sheoak in the foreground.
Refreshing the spirit
First day of the mid-year holidays after a busy term’s teaching, finishing up with lots of report writing and deadlines.
So, nice on a cold Saturday morning next day to walk along the edge of the bay from Mt Martha to Mornington and enjoy the wind and the bay in my head.
Too windy to ride I decided and, while I like getting out on the bike, there’s something more contemplative possible when you’re seeing the landscape at walking pace. I took some photos along the way and blended them into this short movie to start the holidays.
It’s not normal for me to give something of a weather report, but there’s something about a wild and windy day, and the coldest Melbourne day in a year or so, that reminds us of those natural forces that go unnoticed most of our daily lives. It was nice to be around the bay today, to catch glimpses of its grey wilderness during the few times I ventured out. The bay, and the weather, have been inspirations for me for a long time. I never get tired of it; in fact quite the reverse, the more I come back to those familiar, local places, the more interested I become in them.
Received some nice news this week in that my new poem Watching was commended in the The Inverawe Outdoors Poetry Competition for 2007, a competition for nature poetry.
I wrote the poem about a whale watching experience a year or so ago when local radio was announcing lots of sightings of a whale in Port Phillip Bay off Mornington. I found myself, with a group of like minded strangers, standing on a hill in the cold, scanning the grey water for signs of other life. Needless to say we didn’t see a thing and after about an hour we all started drifting back to our cars.
The picture above is what we all hoped to see, but didn’t! It’s a sperm whale diving from FLICKR I’ll post the poem sometime too.
Spoke to Andrew Baird, editor of a new local journal of the ‘Port Phillip Coast and Shipping News’ and he’s agreed to use a poem of mine in every edition, kind of like a regular poetry column. It’s a great looking new paper, and it matches so much of my poetry that I’m really pleased to be part of it.
Late in the afternoon today, after a busy day, walked down to the beach on a beautiful Autumn evening, the bay calm and milky looking and some ship heading down towards the heads, a few boats offshore fishing, very calm and still and beautiful. I took the little old digital camera and too a few shots. This one was of the dry hard wood from the old breakwaters, and the stone wall in the sun with a girl walking along the top of it.
Finished reading De Botton’s ‘Art of Travel’ last night, in time to consider his ideas about Ruskin and observation and seeing your local world with fresh eyes, all things I’ve seen and advocated in my poetry at various times. Tonight I walked down along the stone wall at Hawker Beach with a high tide and late afternoon sun making the spray and waves rebounding against the wall light up and splash across the path. I could follow a line of swell and energy as it crashed along the wall, and hear the hollow sound like a gun going off somewhere a long way away. The Art of Travel