Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ode to Architecture

Based on My Country

I love a saw-toothed roofline,
A house with sweeping drives,
Of poly-chromed chim-in-nees,
Lead windows divided in fives.

I love the odd slate rooftop,
The wrought iron filligrees, too,
The slab hut outline in paddocks,
With a brick pile and a flue.

I love the sandstone mansions,
With gothic windows bare,
Return verandahs and flagstones,
Gardens tended with loving care.

Bendigo miners huts are endangered,
With developers running amok,
They're numbered in their hundreds
While poor taste makes a buck.

Last night I dreamed of Manderlay,
Of Como, Ripponlea and Fortuna,
Their dazzling days are long gone,
Futures hanging on a mezzaluna.

I love the history in architecture,
The lessons writ in mortar,
But sometimes planning ministers and heritage consults...
I wish to draw and quarter!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


The sterile scene raked her eyes and soul alike; the stark emptiness felt as though it was reaching out to snatch her into it's gaping maw to feed some primitive hunger that could never be sated.
The trees in the quarry were stunted and weedy, seeming to be of a fragile state that was only just clinging on to the soil and life while exuding a similar hunger towards the living.
No grass or wildflowers sprouted amongst the stones, no weeds or animal tracks marked the area.
The road was barely wide enough for a single car yet the woman was surprised to see another vehicle coming down the winding mountain track towards her, travelling back to the way she had come, back to sanity perhaps.
As it crept closer the occupants of the other car became visible, two young men with shocked looks on their faces at seeing her there.
Or rather shocked at seeing her standing outside of her car.
The car grumbled to a halt beside her as the driver leant out the open window,
"Are you ok? Have you broken down? Here, we'll give you a hand."
At this the youth made to turn off the engine to help her but she stayed him with a movement, asking,
"No, really, thank you, I'm ok. A little travel sickness. What is this place?"
The other, the passenger, spoke,
"This is a bad place, you're better to put distance between you and here, and never look back."
"What happened here?"
The two exchanged warning glances.
"Men died here, the whole area is poisoned with bitterness. Look, see the trees? They're withered from the hatred still here."
"It's not very big...." she began but was abruptly cut off by the driver.
"It doesn't take much to spoil something. Sure, it's a little quarry but the men who ran it were twisted with bitter loathing and crushed their workers' spirits before the stone crushed their bodies. It was enough to stain it. Now, please, get back in your car and leave while there's still light,"
There was the barest sense of pleading in the last sentence which convinced her to get back in her car and keep on her way.
Nodding to the two young men, who waited until she'd started her engine and executed a dreadful 7 point turn on the narrow road, which brought a flush to her wan cheeks, she left the sullen landscape and was immediately plunged into bright sunshine, causing her to brake lightly and shield her eyes before driving on.
Coming up onto the main road a few minutes later she found the headache gone, her ears were no longer ringing and her breathing was easier.
The other car passed her with a brief toot of the horn and then her escort was gone, she was alone again with the niggling sensation there was something more unfinished at that harrowing quarry.