A slam piece, came into my mind in mondayafternoon sunshine
for your enjoyment
One Winter afternoon, fresh and clear and toasted sun warm, I was approached by a stranger
she of a coat green blue like smoke, asked me if this city was magic
pen poised rustle listening paper in the springsmelling breeze,
her voice was like new leaves and papercuts across me
“Yes I know about the kelpie in the O’Connor wetlands,
a most admirable project to manage ducks and the like
bad luck about that labrador,
I nearly lost my bike when I went to see it.
“Yes I know about the construction workers keeping a minotaur as a pet,
It’s hardly a secret Building site mazes a popping up left and right around the centre Public servants and uni students now bring a ball of string with them to find their way But that is beside the point
Canberra! Magic! What else?”
(a mutter from me)
“Yes, I know that the Norse Allfather is manifesting in Woden.
That will happen when you name a valley after Him, you know.
Over there where the wind always blows
Whenever I go I’m followed by a one-eyed dog and a murder of crows
You’re just fortunate that you didn’t name a town centre after Thor, or Loki, then you’d be in trouble.”
“Yes, I know there have been reports of Baba Yaga in the Inner North,
and while that witch is magical, I wouldn’t say that she really contributes to the overall magic of the place,
“So tell me, of this city and magic”
Roused into speech, interrupting abruptly I espoused at length about planned parks and precincts, people flows and population density
parliamentary triangles, purview for parlance and for pen-pushing
pristine points of interest, ports of paper and pictures painted by planting pines trees and prunus plums,
purple in perpetuity, pink in the spring
the prescience of its pretentious monuments, oblique and perpendicular, pointing up up up to the amnesiac blue.
I looked at her, to see what she made of this more measured mode of magic,
but she’d gone,
I was speaking to Canberra and Canberra alone.