Beyond the Lights of Town
Far off, a motorbike races the night,
inside, a soft thump like a cat disturbed.
This neglected house creaks, an ark riding a flood.
I become aware of a vague rumbling,
electronic, freezer or, yes, hot-water service.
I seek sleep, not attic noises, nor memories
of late nights’ glittery malfeasance,
waking to days yawning with promise of more.
Now rain, a cow bawls across the gully
in the direction of the old school bus road
traversed in boots and shin guards on dank afternoons
through fierce blackberries, around sinkholes,
under and over fallen trees where I spot
fox, hare, eagle, rabbit, the battleground crow,
sometimes hearing laughter from open windows
of that bus in full view of this house then.
They would also have seen a cobbler’s shop
and a butcher’s, with the post-office here,
this last building, now of books, night reveries,
in a time when the view from that bus
was not of what really lay ahead, a secret
to which no-one is privy, a mercy.
I’m done with drama, with travelling on,
but staying put evokes toying ghosts of memory.
Copyright © Ian C Smith 2015
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in , Australian Poetry Journal, New Contrast, Poetry Salzburg Review, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Rabbit Journal, The Weekend Australian,& Westerly. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, Ginninderra (Port Adelaide). He lives in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, Australia.