Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Parramatta Road is a shambles,
Proof that transport planners get it wrong.
Traffic lanes appear and disappear,
Most of them too narrow
For suburban buses,
Barely accommodating
A family car.
No right turn signs casually placed,
Possibly at the whim
Of local government tyrants.
Traffic lights seem to leap
Out of the ground
To stall the flow.
School zones speed limits
Are seldom threatened.
Petrol-heads move from lane to lane
As if they actually knew
What they were doing.
People movers full of kids
Pose as travelling slalom poles
For the enjoyment of hoons.
The air is not quite breathable.
Soon after Granville
The used car yards start to give way
To shopping centres for homewares
And fast food outlets.
The streetscape starts to look
As if was designed in a recent decade.
It is an illusion.
Modernity fades -
Derelict shopping strips of another age.
Boarded windows
And walls plastered with posters
Advertising concerts held long ago,
Telling tales of an earlier era
When people actually walked
On the footpaths of the western suburbs.
An old pub stands proud,
Fashionably remodelled
And typically empty of patrons,
Unless it sponsors a local football team
And the lads have won in a thriller.
Then more car yards -
European brands
And the most expensive Japanese models
Shine behind the plate-glass
Windows of dustless showrooms.
Then there are the first glimpses
Of elegant Annandale
And a landmark humble hotel –
A throwback to days
When working people lived here.
For the inner west is now a zone
Of dignified lifestyles
And supercilious good fortune.
Multiple university degrees paper the walls
Of faithful restorations
And post-modern follies.

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