Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PostScrpit And More Poetry

Life after Hilary, after university, after finding initial full-time work, was a manic, erratic blur of sex, dope, dead-end jobs, adventures and determined hopes. Then I pushed my way into my first newspaper job, in Launceston, Tasmania.

However, seven years later, having spent that time as a reporting journalist and sub-editor, working my way across Australia, up through the grades, on various rounds and on various quality newspapers, I thought I’d had enough. Well, certainly for then.

Already millions of words past university, I needed a break. I was burnt on all sides, as well as top and bottom. So I vented my frustrations and exhaustion in the only way I knew. In words . . .

Brace yourself!


There Was Still More Poetry

I continued reflection on school days, and on trains, the things that had sparked me from the outset . . .

School Boys

From one generation
to the next
they're grubby cuffs,
loose shirt tails
and stone-cut shoe leather toes.
Scraping and scrapping along,
pushing and shoving
- 14 or 15 years or so -
in unison
with mouldy oranges
in dark recesses.

School boys
never change.


Standing on one of Sydney's busy far western, multi-platform suburban railway stations, in the midst of a dry summer setting sun almost 30 years ago, just after carefree university, caused me think momentarily of how Columbus - arguably the world's greatest dead-reckoning navigator - and his crews battled their way through sunsets and superstitions - towards their New World . . .

Devils, Dragons & Trains Rolling West

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 scuttle
up and by
crackling, cackling, cracking
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 blank 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 malevolent god.

Yet rust-red trainsroll on, relentless.
Roaring headless towards setting sun blood.
Towards dragons,
and lost salvation
our lust-filled ancestors dreaded.


Post a Comment

<< Home