Sydney twice in two different ways

September 13, 2012

The first was on the Poets Train from Canberra.  Four leisurely hours to take in the scenery, to read, to compose a poem (we read out our efforts every hour). Arrival at the beautiful Central Station where we read to ourselves again, and a couple of punters.

The next day we read at The State Library. Here I am doing just that, in a photograph taken by K.A. Rees. (Note the staring into the middle distance):

And that night we read at the Friend in Hand pub in Glebe, where a cockatoo, George, chats to the customers. I chatted to Martin Langford, whose vocabulary is much greater than George’s. (No offence George!)

And in between, I enjoyed all Glebe has to offer. Interesting food, cheaper than in Canberra. The big vegan breakfast at Badde Manors, for example. Lying on a chaise longue that was used as a prop in the film Moulin Rouge, writing a review. Drinking wine. Longing for the ability to stay in that fair city. Sigh. As usual, I found myself looking at real estate agents’ windows, doing very unpoetic calculations.

Then four hours back, dozing and composing on the Sunday.

And today? (That’ll be yesterday by the time I post this.) Up to Sydney again in 23 minutes by plane. Barely up before you’re down; the landscape something to get over rather than through. State Library again, where I was lucky enough to pick up a third prize in the Society of Women Writers poetry competition, judged by Judith Beveridge, for my poem ‘A brief history of fun’. Judith gave a wonderful seminar focussing on sound in poetry, and although her ideas are quite different from mine, I left feeling inspired. There was a haiku/ haibun/tanka reading. There was Mark Tredinnick, although I had to leave his PowerPoint talk early to catch the flight home. A fire siren test provided the ideal moment for slipping out.

Twenty-three minutes
Throwing steel through air
We scorch the sky

Now I’m in pre book-launch mode! Radio interview on Friday on local station ArtSound. But I am haunted by a most beautiful spirit at the moment.

A ghost called Sydney
Lithe warm and lively
Winding me back home

Home that is, to a city I have never lived in. And against whose inducements I must block my ears, and tie myself to the cold mast of common sense.

Also known as Canberra.

I’ll love it again in a few days, but I have to learn to do so again.

7 Responses to “Sydney twice in two different ways”

  1. Hal Judge said

    Congratulations on winning a prize in the Society of Women Writers poetry competition! I believe you are also in the running for the Poets Train Countrylink competition.

  2. pscottier said

    Thanks Hal! Yes, perhaps I am a sleeper in that one…

  3. I heard plenty of sirens when I visited Sydney, but I never thought of the city itself as a siren… it sounds as though it was an excellent trip to be on!

  4. pscottier said

    It was indeed, Tim. There’s a chapbook of poems composed on the train being produced, I understand. So it will be the little train that could. Hopefully.

    Are trains big in New Zealand?

  5. pscottier said

    Also, my angst is possibly because Penelopes should always stay at home. No Odysseys for those little chooks.

  6. I love the the idea of the Poets Train! What luxury and what a great idea!

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