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   Poetry > A Geography of the Heart

California dreaming

“god it’s hot!” she grumbled, stepping into the hot sand and slamming the car door shut. “ouch!” “sorry. i keep forgetting about that door.”

She woke up & saw a shadow cross the sun.

They quickly rummaged for food, towels and their various beach
paraphernalia – lotions, shorts, swimsuits, halters, caps, sunshades, etc etc, and looked up. The marker said: no camping, no fires, dogs on leashes only, beach 1.6 km (with an arrow). A quick pee and they were ready to go.

She woke up & saw a shadow cross the sun. Her eyes tried to focus on the figure before her but the contrast (against the Piercing Blue) was too strong. “hello. where’re you from?” “the far north,” she answered sarcastically, still squinting to make out the face of what was clearly a male voice. “can’t you tell by the bleached white skin with the intriguingly uneven burn marks?” A sky-blue dream. Ideal Man.

Flat and sandy, scrubby brush alongside, icy-foamed creek rustling under a carefully natural log bridge. They stumbled along through a barren campsite with sagging depopulated tents and the remains of dead fires, trees wilting in the blaze of summer and a crew of three fixing a damaged waterpump. Beyond a wide and shallow stream that ran under a grove of limpid aspens they plunged out onto the white sands of the beachhead.

She woke up & saw a shadow cross the sun. People down the beach were screaming. The axe cut her head blood red. Like the blood-red scrub on the knobby hills they’d passed that day. Blood red dreams. Two or three of them. Mad Men.

She woke up and saw a shadow cross the sun. Children down the beach were screaming. “gee those clouds moved in suddenly.” She didn’t answer but looked up lazily through her arm and hair. The sky looked whiter. “what kind of clouds are they? do they look ominous ?” she then asked. “no, they’re kind of wispy, thin. I think it’s the fog.” Oh no. Fog-coloured dreams, she thought. No more beautiful coastlines. Dreams of vanishing, of banishment, secrecy & obstruction.

Published on 11/07/2005

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