Anniversary Visit, poem by Diane Fahey
Diane Fahey’s The Wing Collection: New & Selected Poems and The Stone Garden: Poems from Clare were shortlisted for major poetry awards in Australia in 2012 and 2014. She has won the Newcastle Poetry Prize, the Wesley Michel Wright Award, and the ACT Judith Wright Poetry Prize. Diane took part in Australian Poetry’s 2013 International Poetry Tour of Ireland, and in 2014 received a grant from the Australia Council to support the writing of a poetry collection based on the west of Ireland. A House by the River, (2016), was set in Barwon Heads, and focused on the last six years of her mother’s life. Her most recent collection is November Journal.
At Barwon Heads
I’ve driven across the peninsula
with a clasp of daphne, phlox, lavender
to throw onto the river –
a fling of gratitude, as it were,
for the years spent here with my mother,
and now, the book written in her memory.
The flowers are on the waves,
slate and moonstone, bobbing seaward.
From the jetty I glimpse a diamond-shape
riding, massaging, the current,
its wings undulating
like some wonderful form of thought.
The manta sweeps under the jetty,
vanishes – so calling to mind
a summer long ago: a basking presence
that sped off, confounding my gaze,
as my feet touched the water; I waded in,
crouched where it had hovered.
Today’s visit of a living darkness
revealing, then recusing itself,
is pure gift, I take no lesson from it –
this miraculous shadow flowing where
need and curiosity take it; sea-dancing
under the cold, lapidary waves.
© Diane Fahey