Synchronised Swimmers Found Dead in Australian Waterway

Synchronised swimming is designed to look / effortless /
like so many athletic and life endeavours where we:
clamour / for attention above water / and then, below
paddle frantically. What a glorious show! Aquatic / aching

Human mirrors nature / or / nature mirrors human / I
can’t remember. Not with the mirror in which I see /
not the sea / but a river / not much a river / but riven
through the land / a sickbed riverbed / lips cracking open

Why such a fish out of water, my darling? / Why do you
expose yourself / belly up / in midday sun / We planned
the dance / so carefully / 138 Olympic swimming pools
to cool the brow of tired earth / 138 – no more / But –

Cotton blows now over the bodies / sticking on the flesh
the bloated fish / over a million synchronised swimmers
fester / The best choreography / our country had to offer.
Pluck cotton from the air. Where’s your gold medal now?

Rosalind Moran


Rosalind Moran has written for anthologies, websites, and journals including Meanjin and Overland. She co-founded Cicerone Journal and was awarded 2018 Undergraduate Awards Global Winner for her research into biopics. Her poetry was recently featured at the 2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival.

© 2019