posted on August 31, 2008 at 8:56 pm

on the first day of spring i ran to your door
with a bunch of small blue petunias
and wearing my heart on my steve
no one was home
so i sat and waited on your blonde brick wall
as mushrooms pushed ever upwards in the sienna brown earth
oh lovely victoria
ghost gums and spirit walker
in tiny toy-like towns boys like me
in corduroy breeches and woolly heads
little mists in the graveyards
or standing in the sweet shop
“i’ll have threepence worth of those
and…how many do you get of these for a ha’penny?”
dad starts up his valiant
mum hangs out the washing
in the windy blue garden
i bury my soldiers like robert louis stevenson did
and later i still find them
cheerful despite their time in the ground
at the back fence the trains run
everynow and then
a rush of metal a snort of smoke
i’m singing that song, you know the one
“i could never love you
the price of loves too dear
but darling i’ll stay with you
and give to you one year
and we’ll sing in the sunshine
we’ll laugh everyday
we’ll sing in the sunshine
then i’ll be on my way”
how sad that the woman has made up her mind to leave
how quickly that year will pass
as her anxious man watches the calendar inevitable shrink down
will she make it exactly one year…?
or roughly one year…?
will he be able to convince her
to stay a few extra months
or will she depart earlier than expected
due to his downturn in mood
and his sulky unacceptance….?
i stand in the backyard singing this song
trying to imagine her
quietly packing her bags
folding her stockings and her brassieres
and her petticoats and her knickers
collecting her lipstick and nivea cream
and her photos and her little record player
she jumps on the train that goes thru my backyard
and for a moment
we lock eyes
the fleeing singer
and me
the sentient boy
the boy still singing her song
even though the year is well and truly over
and what was young is now old
and the fire that had burnt now cold
and her train takes her away
to towns i’ve only heard of
lying on the mysterious river miles away
the song makes me sad
and that makes me happy
love must be an important thing in peoples lives
i think of 2 other songs
“anyone who had a heart
would look at me
and know that i love you”
“if our love ceases to be
then its the end of my world for me”
women sang these songs
women with powerful voices
love was giving their voices wings
why their love was obvious to anyone
anyone who had a heart
did i have a heart i wondered
would i recognize her love for her man if i saw it?
when a world ceases to be…is that the loneliness?
the emptiness….?
frank sinatra sang
“spring is here…
why doesnt the sky delight me
why doesnt the breeze invite me
maybe its because nobody loves me…
spring is here….i hear”
spring …..
frank sits in the 1950s
trapped there forever
while nelson riddles orchestra
decorates his loneliness
with flurries of flutes
and lugubrious cellos
all this love
and only loneliness
was weighing down on my boylike soul
ha ha
i was young
i was wandering the streets of our town
riding my bike round the empty school
as the evening slowly descended
mums voice in the distance calling
in the semi dark
all those songs were holding me back
all that love gone bad
all the lonely people
what becomes of the broken hearted
beneath the veneer of our town
was a legion of hurt and lonesome lovers
unable to make a move
or ever recover
like a silent disease incapacitating people
robbing them of their worlds
filling them up with emptiness
i wondered why…?
who were these cruel ones…?
the ones who left
the ones on the train
the ones discovering new charms in somebody elses arms
“i met someone new” they sing in songs over and over
not old like you
always someone hovering on the perimeter of life
“he’ll never love you….the way i love you!”
they sang
but still someone new
(someone knew)
that someone is always there
to bring your song to an end
the train goes roaring by again
deep in the night
while i, a boy, lies in bed
the jilted and jilting lovers come and go
red brake lights blur on my frosted window
but i sleep on and on
dream of life
dream of love
dream of being grown up
singing my own song of spring
even as i enter winter
for the last time

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