Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

December 14th 2010
A poem: Reef-Walkers

It's the time of year when we all start to ease into holiday mode and a more reflective state so it seems like a good time to run a little poetry. The following poem we received from Nick Flittner who is living in England these days but clearly has a spare room in his heart for Magnetic.

Nick writes: "I lived in Townsville from 1984 to 1995, and on Magnetic Island from 6 months in early 1990. I write poetry and published a book that year called Magnetic Island Reflections. Many of the poems were first published in The Magneto by Charlie McColl.

One of my poems appears in Vandhana's recently published book

Another was part of a memorial to Mary Bright a few years back.

Nick Flittner

Reef Walkers

are treading on Creations’ Playground
at low tide.

A brown stain
emerges from the blue sea
drawn out by the white moon
pulling from the black sky.

Crushed coral collapses
under the inquisitive foot
of the knowledge-seeker,
learning to death the
uncovered secrets of
sub-aqueous society.


A poem: Reef-Walkers
Tom Cameron
December 21st 2010
complete crap
Bruce J Dargie
December 21st 2010
Loved the book, poems and continuing Magnetic Times! Best wishes to all for the upcoming season and 2011!
December 21st 2010
your complete crap comment Tom is, well, complete crap
December 22nd 2010
Interesting response to Nick Flittner's poem. Obviously some people think fringing reefs are pretty much indestructible and should be open to visitation at all times.... which they are. However, there was a time when the reef at Geoffrey Bay was set up with a self-guiding trail with labels etc so that people could take themselves out there at low tide and learn something in their travels. This was around the time when the discovery of 'coral spawning' was made at that very place. There was special signage erected for both purposes and it became quite a popular activity. If I remember correctly, after a couple of years there was a seriously worn trail across the fringing reef and the managers in Marine Parks and GBRMPA realised that their good idea had a downside. They removed the signage and the labels and no longer promoted the self-guiding trail and the reef began recovering.
I reckon Nick's poem dates from that exact time.
Nick Flittner
July 31st 2011
Exactly right, chasmac! I remember sitting on the beach at Geoffrey Bay watching people walking all over the reef, following that trail set up by GBRMPA. It did seem odd to me at the time that they were encouraging people to walk on the reef. You could also snorkel around the trail at higher tides, which seems a much less intrusive use of the reef. BTW, Magnetic Island Reflections are now available at the MI Heritage and Craft Centre.

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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