Friday, May 13, 2011

Goldfields summer

(based on suggestions from @realnixwilliams, @pinknantucket, @slimejam)

Reading back over old photo albums

peels the skin off memory and tastebuds.

Crackle of transparent static across time

squares decades with rounded corners.

Chocolate icecream white t-shirt

early Pollock talents in evidence.

Pale long feet tucked to the ankles

in off-clear Bendigo bore water.

Invisible sharks butt against toes

splitting maul boats in choppy harbours.

The tall mast of the bath boat

gets a real-world wind whipping.

Adults pour Mateus rosé, guitars emerge.

Strains of ‘If I had a hammer’ harmonise

hippie parents and friends at dusk.

‘Gone the rainbow’ up next, my lullaby.

It was probably a carob icecream.

None of this Sarah Lee ultra-chocolate.

I can taste my childhood in natural

peanut butter, brown rice pie-crusts.

Mason Pearson brush smooths

hair towards bedtime. Side part,

never interrupted by wispy fringe or

hid behind heavy Americana bangs.

Goldfields summer. Hayfever air

of dry grass staggers to evening.

Flavours of Moosewood Cookbook

fade from Colgate milk teeth.

Turn the page, weaken the taste.

Remember this in the nick of time,

catch events like an early bus.

Polaroid an era in an instant.


Today's poem is based on suggestions from three peeps:

  • @realnixwilliams: “tall ships and boats in the bath”
  • @pinknantucket: “How about ultra-chocoalte?”
  • @slimejam: “Hammerhead sharks. Catching a bus in the nick of time. The difference between a ‘fringe ‘and bangs’ (if there is one)”

There’s a photo of me somewhere, aged about four I think, standing in a paddling pool in our Bendigo back yard, wearing a white tshirt covered in chocolate icecream. I can’t vouch for it actually being ‘chocolate’, as I was fed a great deal of carob as a child (hippie vegetarian mother mutter mutter mutter). The flavours of my childhood are very distinct – Hunza pie, pumpkin soup, cheese & onion sausages, carob, and natural peanut butter that we got from the Bendigo co-op (I remember that well as you fed the peanuts into the machine yourself, and out it came like poo). And Moosewood Cookbook recipes, of course. It’s funny how visual prompts, like photos, can evoke memories in other senses like taste and smell.

My years of Baby-Sitters Club reading suggests to me that a ‘fringe’ is messier and less heavy than straight-cut ‘bangs’. But I think at base ‘fringe’ is UK, ‘bangs’ is American for the same thing.

Please note: if you start googling different types of hammers, you may get the giggles. Not that I’m immature.


nixwilliams said...

OMG I REMEMBER THOSE PEANUT BUTTER MACHINES. i loved watching the 'poo' come out!

Anna said...

I thought you might know those machines! Best fun ever.