The day was grey as nomads heading up the coast
nailing shit to a wall and calling it ‘home’
a sparkly bungalow rigged up with all the fruit
above-ground pool, the light show, the ute no longer
in the garage turned into a flat thanks to renos
unapproved by the council, just give it a go
wearing a flanno, double pluggers, forget the occ healthy and safety code
it’s just a suggestion not the word of god, you know?
He had a hard earned thirst, wanted it
cold as the chisel we listened to
before the thunder rolled in
interrupting the neighbour’s reality show.
They were debating ‘the nation’
with vitriol, with castor oil
while linking sausages to be hung next to garlic braids
in the shed where he kept
a calendar of cats just above the work bench
with the generator in the corner
the table tennis table
the home brew kit dusty and optimistic
waiting for us to speak of more than the houses of parliament
and find the continent in the beautiful potential of its hops and malt, in its crisp lightness of quandongs soured and canned for your approval.
Robert Wood was born in Boorloo to Malayali and Scottish parents. He is interested in suburbs, country, heritage, networks, and history. Robert has published two books - History and the Poet, and Concerning A Farm. He currently works at The Centre for Stories, and, is Chair of PEN Perth. You can find out more about Robert's work at: www.robertdwood.net