Australia Calling Home

Aus­tralia Call­ing Home

I remem­ber burn­ing beaches and the rush of salty waves,
I remem­ber long cool drinks in the shade of old tin shacks.
There were dusty tracks through bush­land to hid­den moun­tain pools,
And brain­less boys who lived to tell of leaps from walls of rock.

We grew to slicked down teens on the hunt for bimbo blondes,
And our rusty hurtling cars were the ter­ror of the streets.
We were care­less of the hard bright sun, of booze and friendly smiles,
Then fell for love, the fix was in, Aus­tralia was our home.

Thor, China
    spring 2008
(Port Mac­quarie beach, NSW; image cour­tesy of www.sydney-australia.biz)
.. for other exam­ples of Thor’s poetry, see Time Pass­ing
at http://thormay.net/literature/poems.html

A Stranger in His Own Country – Adrift at 49

SATURDAY AUGUST 13, 1994 – A SMALL KISS, AN ODD DREAM

Dreams are tufts of cloud in the blue-black yon­der. One sec­ond you almost have them, the next you have tum­bled a thou­sand metres through space into another wooly con­coc­tion. Is the truth so insub­stan­tial? She was small and grubby and freck­led. If all lit­tle girls are meant to be cute, she was the one god for­got. She stood in my way with fierce deter­mi­na­tion, pulled me down, and said in a tiny voice “I love you.” Then she kissed me lightly on the lips.

We seemed to be in the hall­way of some kind of apart­ment build­ing. There was a sense that her mother had drifted in with another lack­adaisi­cal one-night-stand, and that for no par­tic­u­lar rea­son I was the only per­son around who looked like a rea­son­able human being. No I don’t know what it all means. Only that a very few dreams have a long after­taste.
Con­tinue read­ing

Seventeen in 1962

This longish poem, Sev­en­teen in 1962, is a pretty accu­rate descrip­tion of my first job in Nun­dah, Bris­bane, in 1962. I was a stranger in the city. My fam­ily came from around Syd­ney, and had just retreated, nearly bank­rupt, from a failed migra­tion to north Queens­land where south­ern­ers were unwel­come. The bit­ter­ness of tone per­sisted for much of my first ten years in unskilled jobs after leav­ing high school,  partly per­haps from dis­ap­point­ment after hav­ing topped the school aca­d­e­m­i­cally, then col­lid­ing with the incom­pre­hen­sion of work­ing class par­ents and the indif­fer­ence of gen­eral Aus­tralian cul­ture. The peo­ple I knew or met seemed to resent intel­lec­tual curios­ity. They wanted to be respected veg­eta­bles in a very small gar­den plot. As a com­plete out­sider with­out money or any social skills at all, it was a friend­less time.

                    Sev­en­teen in 1962

The wait was over, the grow­ing done,
Just the fill­ing out to come;
Time of promise, time to fear,
Gan­gling sev­en­teen.

First job, be-clerked, min­nowed and shoaled
With the eight o’clock tide, be-tied.
And the man­ager, Minikin, said marry your­self
To the com­pany, boy-man to be made;
Tuck in your shirt and swear
Here will be done as your elders have done,
Let all debtors be blessed, amen
And wipe the smirk off your face.

Con­tinue read­ing