FLASHBACK : MARCH 15 2010: Day No 74 : Journey: the North Coast. | 66 YEARS ON THE BENCH

ROBERT GRAY.Journey: the North CoastNext thing, I wake up in a swaying bunk.as though on board a clipperlying in the sea,and it’s the train, that booms and cracks,it tears the wind apart.Now the man’s gonewho had the bunk below me. I swing out,cover his bed and rattle up the sash—there’s sunlight rotatingoff the drab carpet. And the water swayssolidly in its silver basin, so coldit joins together through my hand.I see from where I’m bentOne of those bright crockery daysthat belong to so much I remember.The train’s shadow, like a bird’s,flees on the blue and silver paddocks,over fences that look split from stone,and banks of fern,a red clay bank, full of roots,over a dark creek, with logs and leaves suspended,and blackened tree trunks.Down these slopes move, as a nude descends a staircase,slender white gum trees,and now the country bursts open on the sea—across a calico beach, unfurling;strewn with flakes of lightthat make the whole compartment whirl.Shuttering shadows. I rise into the mirrorrested. I’ll leave my hairruffled a bit that way—fold the pyjamas,stow the book and wash bag. Everything done,press down the latches into the case,that for twelve months I’ve watched standing outof a morning, above the wardrobein a furnished room.(Gray 1998 )

Source: MARCH 15 2010: Day No 74 : Journey: the North Coast. | 66 YEARS ON THE BENCH

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