All the Names

In hard rubbish week, while the street is lined with broken couches and abandoned TVs, someone has shredded a phone book, leaving white and yellow pages like autumn leaves all down Grandview Street. Some pages have drifted into gardens, some line the pavement or the nature strip. Some look like a wild animal has goneContinue reading “All the Names”

Under Construction (Glenroy Lent: Maundy Thursday)

All night we pour out bitumen; by day we mark out new lanes, construct the avenues of better days, the now-not-yet of our ways. We close our eyes before the promised land; passed over, we pass over the times when paddock became mill became smelter. Not done with the smelter yet, and yet when theContinue reading “Under Construction (Glenroy Lent: Maundy Thursday)”

Pink Cotton Promise (Glenroy Lent #10)

Even in new homes, morning has old narratives formed by other mornings, by schedules, by delays. So I approach the day as though it’s been before, as though its parameters are fixed, its possibilities known. Adam beheld the first sunrise, called himself inventor. I almost ignore the miracle, too entangled in strands of ground toContinue reading “Pink Cotton Promise (Glenroy Lent #10)”

Going Without (Glenroy Lent #9)

And so, the first breath of autumn hovering above the freeway ramp, the breeze has blown the top of a leafless tree, all severed head, onto the road where cars, eager to catch the green, dodge that bunch of twigs and race. I too have raced, and now I race – in head, in heart.Continue reading “Going Without (Glenroy Lent #9)”

At the Right Time (Glenroy Lent #8)

…the war he brought back with him is never far away in this suburb. (Steven Carroll, The Gift of Speed) Do you remember water from the rock? How you quarried homes in this ancient soil, when these broad meadows were the stuff of dreams? Remember when the men came back from years and years ofContinue reading “At the Right Time (Glenroy Lent #8)”

Closed Til April (Glenroy Lent #7)

Nothing else open at this time, only this one ageing witness to morning weakness. Yet even the shop at the station’s closed – “til April”, as though the station itself were fasting. In uncomfortable chairs, a man sleeps, unlikely to remember the morning trains, and outside the transit of ash to dawn, a vermilion promiseContinue reading “Closed Til April (Glenroy Lent #7)”

Avenue (Glenroy Lent #6)

What a discrepancy between the joyful winging of birds and the fear in men and women… (Jean Vanier, The Broken Body) And how one cricket starts a neighbourhood symphony in the grass of our roaming near the concrete of our homing in these streets and these footpaths at a Friday-pink dusk while the street inContinue reading “Avenue (Glenroy Lent #6)”

The Dream of Being Local (Glenroy Lent #5)

Distance disturbs my orientation. When I calculate how long it takes from A to B, I live inside my cosy lie that B is only down the street, that all my life can be spanned by feet. But freeway exits dominate. I name streets and suburbs like family, yet these are not local, only yourContinue reading “The Dream of Being Local (Glenroy Lent #5)”

Streets to Live In (Glenroy Lent #4)

For now, where do we live? These streets are made for walking: quiet, reflective, built atop a hill where the cityscape sinks beneath a thoughtful gaze. No walls to be broken, no walls to repair; watered gardens greet the roaming eye, and here an expectant couple waits at the edge of the evening street. FruitContinue reading “Streets to Live In (Glenroy Lent #4)”

Wheatsheaf (Glenroy Lent #3)

Some hands hold their stories tight; others hold them open, to say, Here I came when the war was done, or, Here I lost my mother. Hands cupped like hearts line the street; stories filling houses beat. Old street names speak of sheaves of wheat; some go out weeping, some sing, some, sleeping, dream ofContinue reading “Wheatsheaf (Glenroy Lent #3)”