Sydney to Melbourne by Colleen Keating

It was exciting to receive  in the mail the latest copy of The Mozzie and to find my poem Sydney to Melbourne published. Thank-you to the editor Ron Heard  and team for the your dedication to poetry and poets.

 

 

The poem reminds us that the journey is more important than the destination.

Some of you will remember these slower days.

We made the trip with the family in the late 70’s to visit my sister who was living in Melbourne  at the time and  the memory reminded me of the poem Ithaka  by C.P.Cavafy where we are reminded to enjoy the trip, any trip, not only longing for a journey’s end. It is a metaphor that can be extended to many of life’s processes.

In more recent years when we drove to Melbourne I felt sad that time seemed of the essence.

 

Sydney to Melbourne

As you set out for Melbourne
in nineteen seventy-nine
your road is a long one
country towns stirring the spirit
awakening the mind
Mittagong Marulan Glenrowan Gundagai
Wodonga Benalla Wangaratta
aromas of pubs parks and bakeries
monuments of explorers local heroes
and one of a dog
sitting loyally on a tucker box
re-enactments of bush rangers
and the hanging of poor Ned

Your road is a long one
with pub counter-lunches
Chinese cafe paragon milk bars
ice creams and fruit stalls,
op-shops for old books and ‘antiques’
a fruit-fly stop and car inspection
on the border by the Murray
with its paddle steamer on the go

Brown-painted Colonial Inns
bill boards promising a pool colour TV
and luxury ‘breakfast in bed’
passed through a secret door
with the local ‘rag’
by a man in shorts and long socks

and then a repeat of the day before
visiting museums and galleries
war memorials and a climb on a canon
a walk over an historic bridge –
your road is a long one.

Not like today on the dual lane freeway
with grey concrete and bitumen
blur of vegetation
in a confining corridor
a blinkers-on journey
blind to all the signs beckoning
but the large M meaning
a Highway Service Centre ahead
a one stop for all needs
our country by-passed

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