Australian Beach Pattern

Australian Beach Pattern 1940 Charles Meere

Addicted to the coast,

on hot summer days,

we throng to its beaches

Here we bronze ourselves

in our adoration of the sun god


We populate the sand,

sprinkle it with the hundreds and thousands

of our umbrellas and towels,

reconstruct its grit

into temporary sculptures


Tanned men with six packs

strut its sensuous curves,

mothers watch children

from flimsy shade

a soundtrack of waves slapping,

children’s voices,

and beach cricket commentary

fill the beachscape


Its sand etches

into the creases and crevices of our lives,

into our souls


So idolised,

the beach became our icon

Lifesavers, the soldiers of the surf,

immortalized in our cultural ideals

Red and yellow flags,

ensigns of purity,

gather us to the fold


Body boards and surf boards,

shields against the tyranny

of the vast hinterland


At the beach,

we face the horizon

and our destiny




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