Sunday, August 27, 2006

Devils, Dragons And Trains Rolling West

Standing on one of Sydney's busy far western, multi-platform suburban railway stations, in the heat of a dry Summer setting sun back in 1990, made me think, for a moment, of how Columbus - arguably the world's greatest dead-reckoning navigator - and his crews battled their way through sunsets and superstitions - towards the New World . . .


We form three crews
in this
reddening anywhere railway place
near the world's western edge.

Our platforms blister and paints flake as
dust swirls in dry-heat dancing.

Ochre teeth in crumpled mouths scuttle
up and by
crackling, cackling,
at the west,
uncaring of long-past Columbus passions,
and dead reckoning

And boisterous trains slide by,
between our standing crews,
after the other
after the other
after the other
with silent souls they’ll inject again,
out there, further west.

We feel no green-blue salt spray or swell.
No cool water-logged, rolling timber decks.
No mission for a silent god.

Yet rust-red trains
roll on, relentless.

Roaring headless towards setting sun blood.
Towards dragons,
and lost salvation
only lust-filled ancestors dreaded.


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