by Daniel Kelly, Sydney, 2019
What compels folk to live in this dense morass of flesh and concrete?
Is there some hidden attraction that escapes my small town eyes,
do those here stay out of necessity or fear of leaving the crowd?
Is there some joy to the endless tide of people moving from one place to another,
carried by a relentless procession of steel cages, train, bus, taxi and car?
Moving like cancerous blood through cholesterol clogged arteries and veins.
Give me the one traffic-light town over this mad web of chaotic bitumen.
Give me the gentle amble from the butcher to the café
over the mindless rush from one purveyor of mass retail to another.
Give me the smile and chat with a well-known face
over the flood of unseeing, uncaring eyes.
Have I missed some leap of human evolution?
These alien creatures in suits, Armani coats or compression tights,
with plastic white protuberances from their ears.
Are they our future?
We are damned.
Oh to be back on my half-acre plot.
To hear the town bell briefly break the serenity,
rather than the constant sirens and roaring of engine.
Damn the endless barrage of inane but frantic chatter and noise masquerading as music.
To smell the grass newly washed by rain, the scent of flower and field
instead of the putrid puddles of oil rainbows and rank detritus.
If Henry were here, he would hop the first train out,
bound for the refuge of wide open space.
Banjo would pour a finger of rum into his tin and nod wisely,
“I told you this is where they were headed old friend”.