Sunday, 1 March 2015

Tram (March)


Neglect may affect vacant lots of Melbourne, but never its trams. New models are prerequisite, carrying their parallel lives along grids and bends of town. Livery advertising gambling slides past the casino. Yearners after fantasy step into articulateds plastered over with transporting theatre. Sometimes artists win prizes to paint these reading rooms on wheels. Outback scenes for travellers longing to go where trams cannot. Or a back garden, through whose oblong windows peer the certainties of Weekend. “Move along, make space for more!” is a favourite moment. Or alone on a March day, only you and the driver, marvellously mobile. 

Prime (March)


Prime is indivisible. There can only be one. Where two or three Prime Ministers would run the country, some must march off. Because, Madame Speaker, prime is to be first, but thou shalt listen to a range of advice. Thou shalt be gracious as diplomats, dismissive as prima donnas. Thou shalt fight them on the benches, choose when to surrender. For in your prime you learn the hard way, find courage to endure. Anyway, Madame Speaker, alternatives exist. The psalmist endorses watchers in the morning. Knowledgeable in the world, broken and bruised, monastics rise early, finding voice to sing Prime.

Butterfly (March)


Impossible to know why people chase butterflies. They are a colourful moth because they live in daylight, flutter like banknotes left to the wind. The Rothschilds collected money but one descendant collected butterflies. Miriam lived in the English countryside, a professional entomologist. Entomb-ologist it could be said. Her collection grew until she was made a Dame of the British Empire. Her sister was a social butterfly. Pannonica collected jazz musicians in nightclubs, so was technically a social moth. Her friend Thelonious played piano more unpredictable than the march flight of any insect. Notes accumulate, drift, dart, leaving us wanting encores.