Thanks, Pat. Thinking of changing title to Slipping into Belonging. What think you? Final line might escape meaning in your hemisphere. I schooled in Balwyn on the other side of the river from Ivanhoe where I lived.
> On 30 Oct 2013, at 6:48 pm, Patrick McManus <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Bill thanks lovely picture -memories P
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Poetryetc: poetry and poetics [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bill Wootton
> Sent: 29 October 2013 20:21
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Slipping in (title tentative)
> Slipping in
> Aware of being on the edge of change;
> The Moon landing being slipped into British
> History as an example of modern colonisation.
> Doing Geography projects in small groups,
> presenting finished product on coloured A3 paper;
> negotiating up from being responsible for The Heading.
> Ribbed long socks and pale yellow cotton girls' sports tunics;
> Annette's wiry red hair and freckled arms clashing with all that
> paleness. We boys trimming the bottom isosceles of our tan ties.
> Rock Lunch Club: voluntarily opting to sit at desks after The Bell,
> egg sangos and fruitcake splayed from brown bags; Cocker Happy
> jaunting on the school's stereo, wall-mounted Wharfedale speakers.
> Double desking with Felicity in Pure,
> while chalked formulae accumulated on the smooth blackboard.
> Waiting for her thigh to shift; the times she allowed nestle.
> Frosty mornings, slinging my Malvern Star up, front wheel
> latching between spokes on the high hook in the Bike Shelter.
> Mouse's inert red 500cc Suzuki gleaming below its pedal cousins.
> Room 32, the dour Test Room, in its own isolated block, sometimes
> doubling as a drama room; pretending to not care when my part
> in a play was rotated to Jovan, who later died in a car accident.
> Noticing my hand being the only one up, responding
> to a question about The Merchant of Venice, the penny
> dropping: the maths/science elites really didn�t know.
> Mrs Sikh who wrote maths solutions with both hands on the board
> at the same time, not to show off but because she found it efficient;
> Mr Bodley, insisting post-PE shower doors remain propped open.
> Muffled laughter in the Breezeway, from behind cupped hands:
> catching the word 'period', clearly not denoting subject session,
> knowing there was stuff I didn't know and couldn't ask about.
> Tough Macca dropping dead after an inter-school footy game.
> Guest speaker Danny Spooner singing 'The Famous Flower of Serving Men'
> a cappella; the hush in the hall at the tale of portents and transformations.
> Collecting signatures on a petition for which I wrote the preamble,
> proposing a Form Six student smoking room in the Physics lab; posting
> it in the mail in a stamped envelope to squeaky-voiced Principal Perry.
> Summoned to 'Head' office as number one signatory,
> being treated warily, respectfully, by someone in power
> for the first time. Permission denied; a watch put on me.
> Ned Wilson Beatling his straight hair vertically over his forehead,
> running the black comb teeth the full width of his head just above eye
> level, never taking eyes off his image in the long mirror in the boys' toilet.
> Hearing instructions in French over the PA for a senior class;
> ignoring other bulletins over the PA, not even knowing that
> The Pirates of Penzance was a musical, for the whole of 1968.
> Failing woodwork in form two and my father a carpenter;
> Pop Quizzes in Science trotted out by a rotund American;
> matching terms with precise definitions his brainwave.
> Reversed polarities in steeply tiered Room 15, desks perched
> on scaffolding-supported floorboards, designed for cooking
> demonstrations, enabling looking down on vulnerable teacher.
> The rumbling of pulled down continuous cloth �blackboards�
> to expose virgin dark green - or remnants of an unscrubbed lesson.
> Yardstick rulers resting on the wall, outsized wooden protractors.
> Feeling woozy in metalwork room; each boy at lesson's end, standing
> to attention by his vice, silent, stared down by grey dust-coated
> Mr Mir's chocolate eyes above wiry black-grey moustache.
> The wooden seat of my chair coming adrift, thwacking to the floor
> as we inverted them in unison at day's end in Art, laughter;
> accepted for the first time on the other side of the Yarra.