Tropical Storm Danielle: Night Surfing — Rico Craig

Headline from Corpus Christi Caller, Sept 6th 1980

“Eight dead as Danielle hits Coast”

We’re kids with wetsuits and one eye
on the weather. We know nothing
like stealing a wave from the night;

with the winds of Danielle, good
breaks surge. At Mustang Island
we cut across a dune lip. The wind lifts

soft sand, our headlights splay, caught
on the granules and we drive blind
to the water edge. Waves rise

from the darkness and streak night
at our feet. You’re first in the water.
Through binoculars, I watch the golden

light of oil rigs, holes in the storm-
mural-Gulf we propel ourselves against.
The darkness sucks you out. Sand

flays the jeep. I’m immersed in the empty
rig windows, hints of secrets too distant.
Through my lens, their lights twist awry,

canting from their suspended perch. In
two waves, a cluster of lights topple
from the pylon. A golden light splayed;

no turmoil from the shore, only
a close constellation disturbed. I stand
and tilt the spotlight out to sea, waiting

for you to slide along the wall of a wave.


Rico Craig is a Sydney-based poet. His recent poetry has been published by Meanjin, Cordite, Verity La, and Doctor T.J Eckleburg Review. In 2014 he was shortlisted for the University of Canberra Poetry Prize and the Newcastle Poetry Prize. His poem “Angelo” was awarded third prize in the 2014 Dorothy Porter prize by Meanjin Literary Journal. For additional work visit ricoandhisroboteye.wordpress.com. @RicoCraig

Image: Storm, Barrack Point, © Steven, Creative Commons.