Alone in the Pool

                            by E.M.England 

So softly I go that the heron
Who waits downstream has not stirred.
Perhaps he thinks me a bird;

Thinks me a brown bird gliding
The length of the waterway,
Alone with himself and the day!

Alone with the golden stormlight
And the trees in this quiet place
With the first of the rain in my face!

Between the sky and the water
Under the moving bough,
All that I love's with me now…..

Low cloud, and the fine drops flying;
Brown arms and face caressed
Close to the pool's dark breast.

I wonder….I wonder if ever
I'll be quite so happy again
As I am swimming here in the rain?

                                E. M. England, 1944

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 Queensland Night

                                       E.M. England

Slowly the hours, with their star-dusted hair,
Trail past the red-faced and broad-bosomed Moon,
There is a stealthy glamour everywhere,
A bright effulgence, like a second noon;
Drugged with the silence and the pure, sweet air,
Blue lilies sleep upon the broad lagoon.

Drowsing night-long, fat cattle in the shade,
(The slate-grey shade of daytime-dusty trees).
Loll in the grass – tall, sunburnt, and wind-swayed
That ripples like lake-waters to my knees;
Curlews' shrill calling down the dim arcade
Of moon-flecked scrubland, floats upon the breeze.

The black strand of the creek winds o'er the plain-
A velvet bow in tresses long grown grey;
I clutch at thought that still eludes my brain,
I strive for speech – and find no words to say!
For so intense a beauty breathes of Pain,
Like wistful music heard from far away!

I know there are green English fields that sleep
In quiet beauty thro' the long twilight,
And scented Eastern darkness e'er will keep
A jewelled snare for passion and delight,
But glory and romance and magic leap
Out of the turquoise bowl of Queensland night!

                                                    E. M. England

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Compare this poem to 'A Queensland Summer Night' written in 1883

Path at Stradbroke

                    by E.M.England  (1944)

The Gorge, Nth Stradbroke, ca 1940
The Gorge, Pt Lookout, ca 1940, SLQ neg 204846 

Other lovers will have found it now,
Or, over-run with undergrowth and bough,
It may lie list'ning to the surf's mild thunder-
       I often wonder!

The sand slid underfoot – white, glist'ning powder,
As we went on, the surf grew louder,
Until, the shadow of the scrubland past,
        We came at last

Just within the shelter of a boulder,
Panting, but happy; shoulder pressed to shoulder.
In all that stretch of glitt'ring sea and sky
       Just you and I.

Other lovers will have found it now,
Or, over-run with undergrowth and bough,
It may lie list'ning to the surf's wild thunder….
       I often wonder!

                                                    E. M. England

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Compare with Doomed, by June Saunders.