The Art of Making Art

A friend organised for a small group of us to spend a weekend at a shack on the east coast of Tasmania, where we’d work on making our different artworks together. While they painted and sculpted, I sat with pen and notepad on my lap and gradually made a poem. Southerly published it and it was later selected for the Australian Poetry Anthology 2015.

STUDIO BY THE SEA, FALMOUTH

I coax my eyes from the wide bay below,
turn to a fresh page. Jill behind me
threading shell and wire, a sweet-soft

click click. Deb, voice quiet from the other room,
talking on the phone. Michael at work with
his paints, small strokes, brush brush, then

“Pink!” he says, surprised at the colour
his canvas has become. A bark outside.
“Two dogs, a sheep, and a man,” says Deb,

back at her easel by the window. A slow
sigh, then she declares love for the way
the lagoon’s brown water meets the sea,

creeping and seeping into the blue. The
kettle rumbles into a boiling roll,
switches off. Soon, Jill’s fingers bead

my shoulders while I sip my tea. Outside,
swift birds dive into the wild air currents,
the sea surges, a constant choir of ocean

in mile-wide lines advancing to shore. Skips
of spray percuss the rocks, as the undertow
reaches forwards and back to the moon.