At night, in winter, in St Kilda
the bayside highway forms a halo. Cars
like comets blazing at and into me.
Walking into lights, the cold, the hard clean bayside night,
their energy recharges me.
Melbourne at night, a winter night, has no sunsets, no stars.
Instead, a rose-tinted, glass-panelled airport and
the traffic current.
There are no stars in the bay. The water reflects
the grey mist ripples, smothered night, that functions as a sky.
In winter, Melbourne nights are tones of grey on black and red and
amber aura light.
An empty Brighton crossroad, tusk-like railway lines.
Each street-light traps a sparkling mist,
is a cage. Held down by tram-wire steel-nets overhead,
this city is straitjacketed,
sedated in the luminous haze of clouded sky and mist and bay.
Bright lights gleaming, flashing meteor
prison bar tramlines, wire sky leveller, cutting down…
By day the Melbourne summer sky
is violet tinged, not azure.
night-time skies as light,
when dull red dust clouds billowed down
escaped the gully, loomed above the dry town
I once called my home.
Five years, I said, and so with sentence up
I am glad to be on schedule.
Facing into lights, the world, the hard clean unchained wind…
I never called Melbourne home.
Written age 17 on the day I formally dropped out of university.