Judith Wright Poetry Prize, third place: Surfing at Blackfellas

Blackfellas is over the edge
a sheer drop beside a path
perched against the limestone cliff
down to a narrow ledge and plunge
a fast paddle over dark water
out to the swell
rising up from the deep
breaking swollen tongues
against the silent jaws
of the continent.


Blackfellas is barely a carpark
of loose rock
and windblown gulls
facing Antarctica
another outpost
on the massacre atlas
bleached of all other witness
only a squinting glare to honour
the last cries
of the frightened and defiant
mustered from the camps
and the stunted heath
forced at gunpoint
to fly from this world
into the maw
of the deafening south wind


Image:  Ian / Flickr



Ross Belton

Ross Belton grew up in Esperance on the Western Australian south coast, graduated in environmental science and has worked in disability facilitation, zookeeping, and in the public service. He lives with his son Jacky Blue, and Jo the Cripster, in Fremantle, where he writes recipes for climate change lamingtons.

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