In the Dunes
I have wandered the dunes
and found the shallow indentations
of two castaways at rest.
Tussocks of sword grass cling to the sand
like fingers entwined in hair,
their leaves scissoring the sky.
I have stumbled from one end
of the isthmus to the other
searching for foot prints
left by the tide.
Bones of driftwood roll
in shallows, tossing and turning
like restless insomniacs.
Small fish trapped in rock pools
remember your feet, while
the bristling urchins flaunt
crimson spears, a clattering
battle at the point of stillness.
How will we know what to ask
when all the sparrows have been silenced?
Who will open the crypts
when the last stones have been carved?
Where in the haystack is the truth’s needle?
When will the dog have its day?
Why not bite the hand that feeds you?
Who will take us to task in our squandering?
Is sink or swim the only choice we get?
Why should we offer our throats
in either sacrifice or homage?
What would a saved earth look like,
begging in its rancorous rags?
Mark O’Flynn is an Australian writer. His fourth novel The Last Days of Ava Langdon was shortlisted for the 2017 Miles Franklin Award, the Prime Ministers Literary Award. His most recent collection of poems was the chapbook Shared Breath from Hope St. Press.