There were ants on the platform
By the sign that said “Belair”
A few dried eucalyptus leaves
Lay scattered here and there.
Three ladies all in summer chic
Sheltered from the blazing sun
Shunning rays whose deadly aim
Is harmful now to everyone.
But I, for whom blue skies are rare,
Enjoy the warmth - and hat on head
Admire Australia’s pure clean air
And count my blessings here instead.
The little train weaves through the Hills
The sunlight makes the rocks seem stark
The houses, all low-rise, no frills
Matchboxes in a barren park.
What of the passengers? None wore suits
Each reads a book or scans the news
While I betray my Northern roots
And sit, spellbound by Nature’s views.
The talk is all of summer drought
My brother has not filled his pool
Politicians have their work cut out
Saving water is the rule.
We pass through stations small and neat
A casual few board or alight
And punch their tickets, take their seat
There’s room for all – no need to fight!
Sedate, genteel, some wear thongs
Normal dress for these warm climes
My summer wardrobe now belongs
To Adelaide – in winter times!
My watch ticks so I steal a peek
And calculate the hour back home*
The friends I know are fast asleep
While I’m awake and write this poem.
They’re playing cricket as we pass –
The marshalling yard; we’re nearly there
While all around is yellowed grass
A desert in a city sphere.
(written in 2007)
* 9.5 hours earlier
(c) Poet in the woods 2013