Wednesday, September 29, 2010


17. a poem that involves a plan

Whenever the heat beat
the fight out of even 
the toughest grevillea, or
the tanks groaned and screamed
with the effort of drawing water
from a sluggish River Murray,

Dad's watercolour dream
of the school's front garden
provided an alternate universe
of desire, delicious sweetness.
I remember particularly
the large leaf-green lawn.

There were to be cheerful
flower beds, natives and hardy
immigrants bonding in rich
alluvial soils, creating
with entwined arms a perfect
picture of future generations -

sturdy growth, producing beauty
for the common good. 
There was sunshine in this plan
but it was gentle, fresh after rain,
lemony-gold. One thing left out:
a fountain healing the pain

for the garden that never
was realized, the world
that grew spiky and dry,
the resentful children crouching
on its hard clods, pulling stubborn
weeds under a blinding white sky.

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