Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jerusalem Bay

Dear Waggafish Letters,
I have just now arrived home from a weekend at Jerusalem Bay on a Halvorsen cruiser with Douglas Stewart. I was told to pass on this item of news to you by Geoffrey Lehmann and Robert Gray. As the last of the Vitalists we want to strike a blow against the new red menace. Let me tell you what happened on our weekend. 
We have been visiting Jerusalem Bay for many years. We were hoping for a quiet weekend after three weeks of rejecting thousands of poems and writing letters to poets telling them to forget poetry and take up swoffing. Doug is a snapper man and also fishes in New Zealand. He is in touch with Nigel Roberts and is trying to convince him to come over to the Vitalists. We are a splinter group now, and as Norman Lindsay keeps reminding us, ‘We need people with good red blood.’ Norman is into breeding the pure line. Doug wants Nigel to pick us up at our mooring at Church Point and row us to The Island.  But I digress. At Jerusalem Bay we sat up drinking pink gins all friday night and went to sleep about 3am. When we woke we could hear this odd noise. It sounded like ‘narr  naaar  anaar’ and then there was a huge splashing noise. We rushed on deck, and in the glow of Doug’s hurricane lantern we saw a huge red fish with a pelican in its mouth. The fish was half out of the water, trying to sound back into the deep, but the bulk of the pelican with all its feathers stained red stopped it from diving. It was an awful sight. I don’t want to describe it further because I don’t want the revolting fish to remain in my memory. Doug wanted to dive in the save the bird but there was a great patch of redness surrounding the boat and I held him back. We gazed in horror as a vast school of these vile creatures swarmed around the boat - a seething mass of ugly red fish with gnashing teeth and worst of all, they were actually calling out like a swarm of rainbow lorikeets, except instead of the harsh creaking parrot talk, it was a ‘nnnaaar, naaar,  aaaahnaaara’ on and on, drowning out Doug’s protestations.
I have to go get a gin. I’m back at Elizabeth Bay now. If you need a correspondent to cover the war on The Island, please let me know. 
Back soon
Kenneth Slessor 

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