Castaway by Margaret Daphne Scott

Sometimes a neighbour’s look, a post-card, a telephone call
will carry you up the shore of another life
and leave you gaping amazed at sudden jungle
a world away from the dolorous desk
the spruce back-yard, the brick-and-tile in Rosebud.
This glimmering shade’s cacophonous with
unfamiliar names of long-dead pets and teachers,
side-streets in distant cities and faithless lovers.
The canopy’s alive with flitting shapes unknown
beyond the confines of this island.
Here is the castaway’s camp, his palisade,
contrivances he’s fashioned year by year,
stores he saved from the wreck of his old ship
before it sank from sight beyond the reef.
Fragments of once-proud sails now patch his roof.
A saw, a pannikin hang by the bed
where every day he wakes alone at dawn
to a view of mountains. Those peaks rise
over the trees in a blue scrawl whose message
you seem to have read from a different angle
on the wall of sky to the east of your own island.

From: http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/10250/20030317-0000/www.the-write-stuff.com.au/archives/vol-7/m_scott/castaway.html

Date: 2003

By: Margaret Daphne Scott (1934-2005)

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