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The Ark
Kim Peart

Pouring cappuccinos
A spit of love for every dreamo
Hangin out in Byron Bay
Whichever way the wind should blow

A million visits a year is great
If all had a muffin they’d make our cake
Put on a smile and welcome them all
“Do you like the music?” as they pass the plate

Mad Jack was building a mighty boat
Bit by bit with sticks and soap
Off in the marsh where life is harsh
Where the homeless cringe away from hope

“You’re mad ya know you stupid screw
There’s work to be done in this town too
The traffic jam brings wealth galore
Loving the beach they make our tune.”

Jack cared not for taunts and barbs
Sucking on his coffee hard
“The ocean’s coming! Hear the surf?
It’ll wash this town away by far!”

Stuck in the jam with the smell of salt
Blowing the fumes through the wooded vault
Of paperbark trees sipping marshy ground
The Byron guests watch the ark by default

Rising above the trees beyond
Mad Jack was seen shifting soap and log
Winching barrels up on deck
Shouting back at his mad black dog

At last in town, the question sprung
“What’s out in the marsh that’s so well hung?”
Grunt and moan, “It’s old Mad Jack.
He thinks he’s Noah and the flood has begun.”

Music throbbed through the streets of the Bay
Where crowds rolled through all happy and gay
Stuffed with local pies and tarts
Honeymoon couples fell into the hay

Thick night fell on the drunks where they yawned
Snoring hard through the night til the dawn
Sun broke across the Julian Rocks
Surf catchers rode their streamlined boards

Sun danced like diamonds across the waves
Kids ran to the surf with arms like planes
Crowds rolled out to walk the sights
Where seagulls bargained for all they could gain

Cappuccinos and muffins were served in the morn
The crazy sisters happy, the custom warm
Newspapers shouted of a great broken ice
Sheets kicked aside by the Earth’s rising horn

Like Venice it came when the tide rose too high
When up by the knees it was nigh time to fly
Cars become subs was bad for the town
Rats and a cat on a board floated by

The ocean surged across the track
Sweeping industrial arts off their racks
Over the road and into the marsh
Swirled the ocean through every crack

Ship of sticks and soap took flight
Surging through the marshy bight
Black dog howled at all the noise
Mad Jack sang his battle cry

Floating through the town of song
Houses swept by the verandah throng
Beers were raised at every sight
And a cheer was raised when the ark came along

“Hip hip hurray to those afloat
hip hip hurray to the homeless a’boat”
and with a rush flew out to sea
to sail the vast ocean in search of a home

4 April 2011: Set in Byron Bay, where the homeless camp in the marsh by the town and being at sea level, will be kissed by sea level rise, whether slowly or a sudden arrival. I met a couple of Tasmanians living in Byron Bay and nearly settled there, before shifting to Brisbane and then on to Caboolture and then on to Mountain Creek.

The Rune of Marylebone
Neville Rodman

Invisible she stands, the soft wind in her hair
Inviolate unmovable in a halo of light
Alone midst the spectres of strangers
Her decadent beauty ashed in the frosty air

Perchance a man, footsteps clacking
Senses her presence and dreamily turns
Kissing the air as a symbol or a sign
Uninhibited in the absence of travellers

The ghost of a train long turned to scrap
Wheezing to a halt, puffs billowed steam
She moves like a soft breeze, stepping aboard
With a fleeting glance caressing the stranger

After reading ‘anecdote of the jar’ by Wallace Stephens
Brad Freeman

I paced my dreams last night
not knowing which way
or who.
But in the morning
the mountain
over the town
was still.

Except for a radio spike
which had so pierced the sky
nothing could any longer construe
meaning from trees, depth from
the fathom deep spread
of dark waters. 

Tonight on the slope,
between wake and sleep,
pelts supple with soft other,
the small creatures will shuffle
inhaling the sweet mist
and politely ignore
our callous blasphemies.

Picture: HERE