“After The Incoming, The Overflow, our future lay within the tides, no turning back, no neap, no ebb, an undertow of uncertainty and doubt… Taunting us, an illusion of normality… We have run out of options, we are battling for breath… “

How does a city cope, what does it look like, after years of drought, rising sea levels, relentless storms?

The composition process making the video was very complex. Nearly every scene has been composited from multiple sources requiring more than 500 individual sequences from original footage filmed around Adelaide, the Fleurieu Peninsula, Inner Suburban Melbourne, the Western Highway, and Far North Queensland. Each scene required matching of lighting intensity, colour and direction, as well as wind direction (in clouds, water, trees, etc), atmospheric haze, perspective, scale and more. In most scenes containing water, footage of the sea has been added to the landscape or cityscape. Similarly, nearly every sky and cloud bank has been composited from mixed sources. Almost none of the building skylines is from a single location.

These scenes might be imaginary, but the reality may not be far off…

This version includes a vocal, first performed as an Official Selection at the 8th International Video Poetry Festival, Athens, Greece, December 2019.

•  official selection, Carmarthen Bay Film Festival (Wales, May, 2020);
•  screened at Festival of Hope: A Global Virtual Poetry Initiative : Love – Power (Versopolis Review, Europe,
April, 2020);
•  screened on Channel 44 community television (through 2020);
•  official selection with honorable mention, screened with live spoken word, 8th International Video Poetry Festival (Athens, December, 2019);
•  screened with live spoken word, Paroxysm Press: Showcase Series, Adelaide Fringe Festival, Broadcast Bar, Adelaide (February, 2019);
•  Honorable Mention in Experimental Forum Film and Video Art Festival (Los Angeles, July, 2019);
•  selected for Moving Poems (USA, August, 2019).


perhaps most of you already know, 
surely most of you must remember...
this is how it was...

before The Rise
this is how it used to be
during the decades of drought
during the dreadful years of withering grinding drift
sandblasting us
entombing us
the desert on our doorstep
sucking us dry

until, of course, The Incoming
The Overflow
seas levels rising relentlessly
just like the predictions
the ocean spilling over us 
just like the old forewarnings

yet this, this...
we never imagined this
such restless energy
exposing, laying bare
our utter vulnerability

we were pummelled
we were pounded 
would we ever be able to withstand 
such a torrent of dislocation?
would we ever be able to cross 
such an undertow of uncertainty and doubt?

our future lay within the tides
whatever might happen next
there could be no turning back
no more neap
no more ebb

so much for our urban paradise
so much for our precious gardens
our private havens
nothing more than
cruel ghosts of our past
taunting us through our nightmares
haunting us through our ruin

with neither runways nor lift-offs
we were grounded
we were stranded
on islands of isolation

as we struggled with the new order
riding anchor
all sheets to the wind
keeping our bearings
guarding our lifelines
the contraband of desire
our rations of resilience and hope
our dwindling allotment of optimism

and so we craved respite
coveted long-lost calm
a safe passage to the prosperity
we'd worked so hard to achieve

after all
there were still profits to be made
“now selling” fabulous opportunities!!
“pristine views” why not treat yourself!!
“luxury” step up in the world!!
“a piece of nature” gain a rare acquisition!!
“the home of your dreams”

well, what else could we do?
we built faithful replicas
we erected historic reconstructions
we maintained an illusion of normality
and savoured Golden Memories of our Glory Days

as the floodtide deepened
at least the sea birds thrived
flourished in new-found sanctuaries
expanded their territorial claims
nested, rested
or simply took to the wind

some of have us adapted
some of us have got on with life
some of us have even found ways to forget

but the rains continue to fail
and The Salt, everywhere the Salt
that insidious, scouring salt

now, now we have run out of options
we’ve run out of answers
we are tired 
we are battling for breath
we are seeking any escape
any form of deliverance
from here
from our hell in high water

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