How to Find Us
If you’re in Toorak Road South Yarra
leaving the trophy-encrusted rooms
of the English-Speaking Union
after a Johnson Society meeting,
stimulated but exhausted keeping up
with its lively septuagenarians,
step south across the road, just
to the right of the space-ship-style
shiny steel public toilets, follow
down into Fawkner Park the sealed
path that’s most diagonal, just enjoy…
springy turf, big old trees, in avenues -
or as what get called specimens -
stand-alone monuments, so magnificent
they seem magnanimous too,
Johnsonian, with Latinate names.
If it’s earlier and a week-day, watch
for school children in dapper uniform
on the way to their first class,
saddled with uniform backpacks.
Maybe their mother follows them,
slower because her youngest’s
in a stroller. She’d appreciate a smile,
and a remark about her heroism.
Small boy on small bike: paused
with hand on tree-trunk, pushes off:
it’s downhill all the way free-wheel.
Coming home this afternoon uphill
he’ll need all his pedalling strength.
Between the soccer posts observe,
in from the bay, a thousand
squalling seagulls perform their
Skirt the tennis pavilion’s courts where
the plunk of balls off racquets sounds
most days, even in winter drizzle, under
bright lights, long into the night.
Now you’re getting near us -
we’re in the old low block of flats
between those stark office buildings.
Ring me now, we’ll meet just
at the gate from the park.
I’ll unlock it, shake hands, maybe
we'll hug - come on through.
You’ve left South Yarra - this
is Melbourne three double-o four.
That’s the sound of trams clanging
along St Kilda Road beyond.
Upstairs with us, you’ll say How quiet,
how blest, amidst such good things.