18 Equatorial IAN McBRYDE

Unbidden, I still dream of the sea.
That calm, unreal beach, the palms

nodding, fatigued by heat, already
asleep by noon. Waves breaking

quietly open, the light flat and vast,
precise. Each time I am here

the sand has moved a bit more inland.
The terrain changes while I am away.

What never alters is [that] ripple of beach
to the east, that indistinct shimmer

where it curves into dream distance.
Something is coming, growing slowly

closer. It has all names and no name,
its shape changed, its image shifting

from one visit to the next. Sometimes,
despite myself, it even looks like me.

Used and reprinted by permission of the author.

Click here for a reading by Ian McBryde of Peter Goldsworthy's poem "After Babel," followed by this poem.

Click here for a video of the Melbourne premiere of Leonard Lehrman's setting, Jan. 5, 2002.