By | 1 July 2006

An almost accidental smear of yellow
beside the strident gold
of our more important streets, almost
like a break in colour lines, the street directory derailed.

Between Port Botany and the Gateway to Australia
pedestrians are by definition suspicious
no footpaths or signs
beyond contaminated high water,
harder air. Truck Territory
no stopping, metal-mob roar plus the mating preen of jets
above a grey-stained pelican.

I face a dried and battered screen
for both macadam and the open sea. Unsettled land
is where the wars break out. Reaving in cotton blends
people choose the easiest answer –
our stakes too high for ambiguity
or pause.
We never leave the checkout queue, reached
the full-junkie stage of capitalism
more shit, less hit.

Sand is history
but it can only be read in silence.
The old terracotta pipe leads out
then finishes, or dives beyond our ledger.
Eat our lunch joylessly
fretting over dinner.

No one will offer to fix this strip of sand
it even lacks a name,
this one-lane remnant beside the core
of that which makes us modern.
Cormorants camp on broken piers
weeds and cattails form the fence
between peace and atrocity.
Fresh lungs bleed across the suburb of containers,
Happy Meal wrappers are our time capsule.
Beside solvent clear water,
discarded bottles of Deep Spring refuse change.

                              Do not feed the birds
                         they interrupt airport traffic.
Until the Seventies, gangs buried their crimes here.
We modern mass villains are far less clever.
This beach is a border
though so porous you can see
seagulls drinking freely a sullage pond
with gastric striations in a poison grin.
It has no name, in a few more years
simply won't exist. Its driftwood
was once its trees.

We race new tides in eating land.
Here in the downiest part
of the New World Eagle.
Will our leaders be tried for slaughter?
Will we?
The 2.20pm KL and London has left.

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