Martin Chambers

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This poem visits PERTH

This poem wandered around the city, Un-noticed,
collecting words and images, thoughts, snippets,
like Florseim, Qantas and Gleddon Arcade.
Fleshing itself out as an alien from another galaxy might collect things familiar to us,
and hang them around itself so that we might be able to see.
Carillion, Plaza, Commonwealth, Alexander.
This poem, still naked under its cloak of words,
added ‘litigation’ overheard while waiting at traffic lights,
on the corner of St Georges Terrace and Barrack,
‘Sandvik’ from the side of a van,
and ‘Templemen’ from the back of a bus.
Full bodied words these, full of image and overtone,
of flavour that like red wine improves with contemplation.
This poem left out unsightly words,
but some, like dogturd and vagrant,
it kept just in case.
It rejected any words painted in red.
Further along and moving towards The Big End of Town,
this poem added, like jewels, the staccato of TLA’s,
that ring to the tune of rattle of train,
BHP, NAB, ANZ, BHP, NAB, ANZ.
And then still collecting south towards the river,
initials shorter and longer and the tune became a song,
with stanzas like the alighting of a train at an underground station.
BP, Woodside, KPMG, Essssplanade.
This poem noticed the percussion of people and shoes,
up the steps of new station with the hurry of speaking,
gathered as many as it could remember but there were
just too many and they came so quick and fast and fell away as quickly as they came
so that all that was left at the end was the realization that,
this poem was still unseen,
that no cloak of beautiful words would reflect,
like the mirrored quartz of highrise.
And that all the people would see was themselves.
This poem wandered down to the river,
and sat on a grassy bank,
took all it’s wonderful words and laid them out like a picnic in the sun,
and wondered,
Would it be better with the words in some other order?