Saturday, 5 March 2016

Seals At Play. Admiral’s Arch, Flinders Chase National Park, Kangaroo Island.

the western waves roll
across three oceans
to crash upon the cliffs.

southwards the rolling sea
stretches far beyond the horizon
to distant Antarctica.

the salt-laden wind blows
over the huddling heathland's
wild, remote beauty.

Beneath the cliffs
but above the surge
are crevassed platforms and a curving arch
leading to a pool of mirrored transparency.
Everywhere fur seals bask,
argue over position, laze in the pool
or clamber awkwardly towards the sea.
Where once men clubbed them
to near extinction
they are protected, contented and safe.

Two young seals are at play
in a steep narrow gully,
a rush and retreat
of foaming turbulence and unforgiving rocks.
They surface in tangled somersault,
wrestling, diving, breaching again and again,
young, joyous and unafraid,
toddlers in a playground
confident in their skills,
except this is no playground
or carefully constructed, rubber-layered, safe zone
but the immense, cold, surging,
cliff-pounding sea.

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