poem: Clayton Days

Clayton days

I bought a little house in Clayton – such

An ugly suburb after Beacy, but

Diverse and busy, full of folk from far-

Off lands; my garden rich with fruit on trees

From Greece and Italy.  Kids came and stayed

For half each week, God love them.  Tate and friends

Were not that into studies; much in strife

At school and taking on the police. They stole

A car, got caught and beaten badly, then

At last began to settle down. To TAFE

Went Tate, much happier now; somewhat depressed

Was sister Eve, but found her way to uni.

She loved the themes but wasn’t ready yet

To study long and hard. Young brother Lec

To uni too, more stable then than both

His sibs, and seemed to score the best results

With ease. Myself at uni too – I found

That timed had changed. Monash was corp’rate, big

On making money, marketing its name

In Asia. MBA itself was fair

To middling.  Changed to M.Env.Sci, so much

The better fit for me: ideas of Gaia,

Investigating power of place, took trips

To ancient rock art sites, and studied man –

How man began. I won the forests job

At EV, left the hospital and found

Rochina: there she was at Byron Bay.

Dark hair and flashing smile, and smart, so I

Was smitten hard and deep.  The greenie work

Was not that easy; doctoring was light

Relief. The state was run by right wing fools

Who valued roads and cars and logging profits

Much more than air and trees. I ran a fight

Against woodchipper Amcor – nasty bunch,

They hated greens, tried dirty tricks against

EV; but then, the greens were disunited,

Too many rowers pulling this and that

Way, screaming loud and long at other greens.

We had great vols at EV, fought the firm

In several ways, but I grew tired – I had

An overstuffed agenda, fatal flaw

In all my plans; and midlife change is not

So simple – takes a longer time to learn

New tricks, not so the young campaigners. Sad

To say but burn-out felled me – left EV,

Went back to gen’ral practice.  Loved most folk

I’d met in forests work; though sad, I felt

I’d helped to keep the flame alive in times

Of woeful leaders state and fed’ral, times

Of small and hard-fought gains against the greedy.










BGS 30yr reunion 1997


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