View of the New Estates

1 February 2018

Instead of church spires, mobile towers
offer reception on treeless ridges.
A scattering of solar panels glints
amongst the tessellated greys and browns.
Trees are kept to an acceptable height.
Each garden holds a two-year history
of yuccas, cordylines or three weeping birches.
No eucalypt spreads its arms above the spouting.

Only on the fringes are the houses let loose
spreading like rumours into paddocks
where grids of bitumen are gouged
out of clay, streetlights inserted, kerbing set
acres of clover and rye grass transformed into Ridge View –
a lifestyle to walk through to a map of the future
rendered in display homes and flickering wide-screens.
Perhaps the finest suburban view
is seen from a circling flight,
a mosaic of ochre and charcoal tiled roofs
reminding us how hardened the landscape seems.

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