If you didn’t already know, today is World Poetry Day, so it seems only fitting that today’s post be a poem to honour the occasion. I wrote this poem a couple of years ago, inspired by a trip from Brisbane to Sydney on a Greyhound.

Halfway House

I

A bus full of wanderers
driving through Surfers Paradise
that place hasn’t been paradise to me
since I was ten
sun-bleached blonde
freckles on my cheeks

paradise was
beating my brother
to finding ten bucks on the beach

now it’s too much concrete
not enough sky

we pick up more passengers
and I wonder
what’s anyone doing
in a place like this?

stopped at a servo for dinner
place like a halfway house
but I don’t know
what we’re all travelling
halfway to

wait outside the bus
look into the sky
hope they think
I’m a wanderer

not wayward
not alone
not running.

II

The sky dark and empty
I don’t know where we’re headed
haven’t been round these parts
since I was a kid
and even back then
I never knew

spend the night
in and out
wake up to a half moon
hanging in the sky
countryside slips past
stars are
dandelion heads
spread on a midnight blanket

across the border
when I wake again
push time forward

forget the blazing sun
rising over towns
smaller than mine
forget the cities and
the lost connections

just wayward
halfway to nowhere.

Also to mark the occasion, the wonderful Nike Sulway has written a post about the perils of buying beer for poets.

I hope everyone dabbles in a little bit of poetry this World Poetry Day, poetry is one of the most powerful tools we have for being heard.

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