19 May 2003


The God of Smoke listens idly in the heat
���� to the barbecue sausages
speaking the language of rain deceitfully
���� as their fat dances.

Azure, hazed, the huge drifting sky shelters
���� its threatening weather.
A screen door slams, and the kids come tumbling
���� out of their arguments,

and the barrage of shouting begins, concerning
���� young Sandra and Scott
and the broken badminton racquet and net
���� and the burning meat.

Is that a fifties home movie, or the real
���� thing? Heavens, how
a child and a beach ball in natural colour
���� can break your heart.

And the brown dog worries the khaki grass
���� to stop it from growing
in place of his worship, the burying bone.
���� The bone that stinks.

Turn now to the God of this tattered arena
���� watching over the rites of passage -
marriage, separation; adolescence
���� and troubled maturity:

having served under that bright sky you may look up
���� but don't ask too much:
some cold beer, a few old friends in the afternoon,
����� a Southerly Buster at dusk.

John Tranter

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