Night music, the mall

Same night I saw the moon move, 
my shadow spoke to me 
  (thought I was lonely) 
Wojtek evaporated 
and the c.d. in the mall 
was opera avant garde:     
        some Dame, but skipping, 
a phrase of violins, 
  a burst of song vowels 
repeatedly skipping 
                                   ad infinitum. 

         at ten pm 
a cloud of gulls 
     in silence 
surrounds the mall. 
Circling quietly 
no-one speaking 
the distorted singer sings on. 
When the c.d. is stopped 
          all as one 
the gulls began to caw.

The Canal

The canal refills:
soiled water ripples through the stone walls of the old golf course
the moon moves, the canal unfills

again, the tide is never still;
styrofoam cups float out to the harbour, circumnavigating the island fort
without pause the canal refills -

oil slicks and sewage spills
from the Quay, fast food wrappers and a flotilla of beer bottles from every place east of Concord
remain as the canal unfills.

Koels and channel-billed
cuckoos scream in the darkened trees three hours before dawn.
Restless, the canal refills.

Street sweepers and their ilk
rattling bins, dumping crates, flick their cigarettes and depart once more.
The canal unfills.

Early golfers arrive and fill
with secret knowledge of how every trap, ridge and fairway performs;
the canal refills.
The canal unfills.



Night music, Parramatta Road

street machines practicing 
for next Friday night’s performance 
and the next, and the next; the newborn downstairs  
squalling in its illness, waking up its parents; 
across the intersection the petrol station 
attendants with their love 
of the loud hailer system that hails into our front room 
and the flicker of band bill posters 
exhausting one more roll of tape in the vain hope 
someone will show. 

When the baby Kyle wakes two or three times 
his shrieks get so fierce, so severe 
you’d think he was being born again, or tortured 
and can understand why his parents scream back 

though I hate them for all their noise. 

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