Letter From An Australian Mining Town

Darren Hanlon


If it wasn’t for the blinding sun I might enjoy the view
I’m trying to pick the ripest words to use to describe to
You all the ordinary things within my line of sight
I just wanted to write It’s only been eleven days, I wonder if I’ll last
But the room’s just how I like ‘em, I’m molested of it’s past
I got books for if I’m bored, a door to open when it’s hot
To think it’s ever notLike afternoons when clouds come and hang low over the plains
A gentle rapture grips the people out here when it rains
They dream and wake to find it gone as quickly as it came
And everything’s the sameAnd all around
The dust spins
And plays across the groundBut you and I are changeable by millionths of degrees
Our compasses spin wild and we’re blown ‘round by the breeze
We land to find the secrets and the people who confess them
We just wanna learn but never to possess themSo I go down to meet the raucous din that fills the bar most nights
I seek out conversation and deftly avoid the fights
One says if we’re all of this earth, and on the earth we dwell
We can take out what’s in the earth as well
Another seems to be amused that I came here by choice
And it hits you, all the miles you travel just to find a voice
For all these ends and loose threads that need pulling in your brain
To know that you are strangeAnd all around
The dust spins
And plays across the groundI try to understand the solar system till it hurts my head
I decide to make it relative with objects ‘round my bed
If the earth is on my pillow and the sun lies in the sink
Then we’re closer than we thinkYour father took me up to show the house upon the hill
We pushed through racks of dusty clothes to find your old room still
As it was when once into, with arms of wood, he crept
To warm you while you sleptI can picture you now waking to another frosty morning
The winter birds all carol for the places they were born in
Your little heart beats fast and sends a flush to your cheeks red
And you get out of bedAre there ways that you can read my thoughts across the great divide
Can you tell I’m thinking of you as if you’re here by my side
Do they reach you as a shiver when you’re up hiking ‘neath the trees
Or as a pollen in the air that makes you sneeze
And on the air
The dust plays
And gets in everywhereNow nighttime travels over me with all the stars aboard
A freight train leaves for somewhere and it blows an eerie chord
And I’ll sign off this letter, might chop the ends and fold it
And send it off tomorrow and then hope that someday soon your hands will hold it

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