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Books & Poetry

Poem: Be at Glenelg

Books & Poetry

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Lindy Warrell captures the sights and sounds of her new home of Glenelg.

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Be at Glenelg

Look at the old woman
hunched over her walker
who smiles at harried passersby
when she stops to lick
her ice-cream in the sun.

Watch that white-haired man
cross the road
as though there were no cars
fishing tackle in hand
eyes fixed on the sea.

Notice the couple struggle uphill
to let their adult child
savour the sea-fresh breeze
from his wheelchair.

Listen to little children giggle
and squeal on lawns
run, fall, play in soft sand,
gulls swooping for salty chips
with gurgled-whoops
while parents fight
and lovers kiss.

Hear the tram clank to a halt
every 15 minutes
to disgorge tourists
from outer suburbs and far away.

Let winter’s beach enchant
with its gay parade
of silks and saris
floral cotton headscarves
hijabs, beanies, sunnies,
jeans and joggers.

Wonder at lycra-clad cyclists
who weave through the throng
sinewed calves pumping
against the onrush of age.
They pause only for coffee.

Stay till summer
sounds of babes and laughter
a whiff of burgers
and the taste of freedom
sharing ice cream.

Lindy Warrell is a retired anthropologist who studied and taught at the University of Adelaide. She did field work in Sri Lanka, towards her PhD in the anthropology of myth, ritual and religion. She also worked across Australia for a number of years as a consultant on Aboriginal heritage matters, mostly in the Top End of the Northern Territory. As a child she lived in Japan, but being a publican’s daughter she was born and raised in outback pubs, including The Transcontinental Hotel in South Australia’s Oodnadatta. She loves jazz, the bush and the ocean, and is revising the first draft of her first novel, though increasingly time is being spent on poetry.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to Submissions should be in the body of the email, not as attachments. A poetry book will be awarded to each accepted contributor.
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