Drifting through the night

To begin at the beginning:

It is autumn, moon-filled night in the small suburb, star filled and raven-black, the streets reposed and the ambrosial, paramours’-and- possums’ wind chime tingling unnoticeable down to the coalblack, cold, black, bearblack, windrustling park. The houses are observing as snakes or sighted as the animals there in the patulous woodlands by the silent playgrounds and car parks, the stores in grief, the Churches entombed in necropolis dust. And all the people of the unsettled and dull suburb are sleeping now.

Silence, the babies are sleeping, the mothers, the fathers, the children, the schoolteachers, the postman, the neighbors, the tradesmen, the preachers, policeman, musicians, the doctors, the lawyers, clergyman, fire-fighters, florists, plumbers and the butlers. Young girls lie tranquil on soft beds hovering in their dreams, with castles and ponies, galloping through woods with knights in shining armour. The boys are dreaming fiendish or of the threatening skies portending a storm and the diamondlittered sky. The stone statues of the inert soldiers sleep in the fields, and the horses in the stables, and the dogs in their wateryeyed sanctuaries; and the cats doze in the sloped corners or flit candidly, sluggish and pacified, on the one moon of the roofs.

You can hear the leaves falling, and the peaceful town breathing. Only your eyes are gaping to see the murky and collapsed town light, and dark, asleep. And you alone can hear the boiling sea, the brightest before dawn copiously clouded stir of the pale-skin sky where the Wright Flyer, the Sprit of St Louis and the Voyager, Flight 19, U-2, the Piper Saratoga II HP, the B-24 Liberator, and the Lady Be Good spiral and soar.

Listen. It is the darkness of night drifting through the streets, the march of the slug slow melodic gust in Templestowe Road and Grants Grove, it is the trees sprouting on Surrey Hill, leaf-fall, starfall, the hooting of owls in Flinders St Station.

Listen. It is night in the cold, clandestine church, singing in pinafores and fedora and atramentous black, rabbit-ear chaplet and pretzel-lace bow, barking like dogs, sucking mints, sleeping with thoughts of praise, welcome and gratitude; darkness of night in the pubs, soft as a rock; in Darren Huns attic like a cat with slippers; in Don Brown’s bakery fluttering like wheat. It is to-night in Worm Street, squirming soundless, with slime on its feelers, along the corrugated concrete, past painted street lights, bulb and bauble, sonorous, sacred breakfront, shadings done with feet, china cat and weedy wax candleholder. It is night worming among the atelier of babies.

Look. It is night, foolish, governing through the investiture of blackberry trees; floating through the necropolis of Crispus with winds swathed and doubled, and sleet shed; plummeting by the Pilots Arms.

Time transpires. Observe. Time transpires

Step forward

You and only you can perceive the houses in slumber the streets in the slow deep sluggish and hushed black, bound night. Only you can observe the unsighted living rooms, the towels and balmorals slung over the cathedras, the cups and sinks, the family photos and ornaments that line the wall. Only you can listen and observe through the eyes of the dormant, the evolution and universes and labyrinths and pigments and agitations and prisms and compositions and ambitions and ups and downs and sorrow and endeavors of their dreams.

From where you are, you can hear their dreams.


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