Berowra Waters, New South Wales

by Clive James

The seas of the moon are white on white towards evening
Kingfisher strikes head out on the deck for the trees
Veils of tulle are drawn by the dragonflies
The treetops shudder to silence like coins set spinning.

Fireships of cirrus assemble and ride in the west
Tracksuit trousers go on and a second sweater
Baiting for low-level fish is like writing a letter
To someone whose last name you caught but whose first you missed.

The sun goes over the hill with a whole day’s flames
The bottles fluoresce going down, like silver spiders
The old astronomers’ animals graze the fields of stars
The guttering cirrus drops on the tide to the Sea of Dreams.

Previously published in The Book of My Enemy. More on Clive James at