QUO VADIS-SWAN HILL

QUO VADIS-SWAN HILL
Joe Massingham

This is Australia in microcosm.
Of the fourteen of us here
eight are over fifty
(over sixty if we’re honest).
The two chefs are native born
but the food is pure Ostia.

The five in front of me say it all:
two grandmas, a grandfather and
dutiful children, all late in life;
the grandchildren are nowhere to be seen,
they’ve gone to the city, leaving the olds
to celebrate unmemorable birthdays.

Against the wall to the right
the pair from the SEC eat
their sustenance away. The roly-poly one
is Naples reborn. Ironic that he is satisfied
by two who’ve never seen the bay.

The waitress is country Victoria, born and bred.
A little bouncy thing, a hundred when she frowns at bills,
twenty something when she smiles.
And, as is proper if you’re true blue,
they don’t charge for the salad they got wrong.

This is Australia
and I wonder if I’ll ever belong.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

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Posted on October 6, 2012, in Joe Massingham, POETRY and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. A second poem from Joe, one of pathos and observation.

    Read his first poem on MM, IMPRESSIONS:
    https://misfitsmiscellany.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/impressions/

  2. Reminds me of disgruntled family members in Australia without civil tongues who have a might-have been attitude in all their sullen lives and wives, in the should have, would have,could have kingdom without even a crown now over their heads,earning their bread not by brow but be brawn with a steady heady attitude post Victorian attitude of a waitress waiting
    for the lottery to give them days of pleasure and leisure. Here Joe expresses the philosophy and
    phrase making not of the early macho settlers that D.H.Lawrence wanted in his primitive
    primal fascism or the brave men of World War Two but of the welfare society nabobs who have
    been up up the river or down under, with the humorless losers who know no honesty but how
    to play the system. Good poem,though Joe but deeper than the self pity of the new generational
    curses concealed, whispered and softly spoken in public discourse but hidden in private compartmental disclosures that only poetry can make real.

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