Chariots of the Sun

This poem is a short affirmation and image of a small holiday island some eleven miles offshore from Fremantle, Western Australia. It began as a prison for aboriginal men and boys after 1838, and from 1902 served as a gubernatorial retreat from the intense summer heat. It is sear and dry, bereft of natural surface water, and now is a watery playground for fishers, boaters, surfers and many others. Paul McCartney called it "the rotten-est island in the world". Cheek!


Chariots of the Sun


Sun chariots whiteline the blue,

sheltering confusion in foaming sheets

like empty bottles

flung across riotous rock-streams;


pounding soft billows flat,

the phaeton riders, bounding

to salt-dry Rottnest

(sea-sucking on Indian Summers)


to Helios Island, firing

in hexagon diamond light,


squat, like an ochre toad

on the lip of the sea.


Chris Hubbard

Perth, 1996


◄ Wet

On Scarborough Beach ►


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Chris Hubbard

Wed 1st Mar 2017 08:20

Hi Colin,

You're very knowledgeable about Rottnest I must say! They're still there, the original 'rats' of the island, named by the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh many years ago.

<Deleted User> (13762)

Tue 28th Feb 2017 18:53

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