(if you are reading this in your email, you may need to click on the title link above to play the video on the web).
In 2010, I wrote the poem “On Goolwa Beach”. I’m fond of this poem, because it captures, for me, my experience of swimming, walking, relaxing there. Goolwa Beach is a sensational, long sandy beach near the town of Goolwa, on the Fleurieu Peninsula, in South Australia. The waves on the beach are relentless. Great fun if you’re a reasonable swimmer, and if you like body boarding. I’m not a surfer, but there are plenty of people who surf there too. The poem is all about waves, but the word “dogged” came to mind, when I was thinking of ways to describe those waves. Hence the dog metaphor used throughout in the poem.
On the page, the poem is set out to vaguely resemble a seated dog. (See below). At least it does to me. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, the publishers of “New Poets 16” (in which the poem was published in 2011) were unable to replicate the formatting. Don’t ask me why. I wouldn’t have thought it was that hard. It ended up looking more like something a dog left behind, than a dog. So I’ve always felt that the poem never got its just deserts.
I’ve been thinking of experimenting with audio / visuals to accompany my poems. Rob Walker does some great musical stuff with his work, which has always impressed me (see robwalkerpoet.com). So I’ve had a go at putting some sounds and images with the words of “On Goolwa Beach”. I’ve got a bit to learn in this area, but its a start. Let me know what you think.
Here’s the video:
And here’s what the poem SHOULD have looked like in New Poets 16: