Suburban Sunday afternoon

Some poorly drawn clouds roll down the bluescape. Pelicans orbit the wind’s elevator, so close I can almost hear the air rattling their feathers.


By the time I’m just a dot among roofs and roads they’ll glide all the way to their fishing grounds. Thum-pah of the helicopter. Next door Anton, who gardens for his elderly mum, gets the chainsaw going and sets about the ancient vine that’s muscling the wall towards collapse. The windchime declaims the obvious and now my old cat lopes up the path miaowing, leaps and whumps onto my chest scattering the dada-ist poem I was composing: slivered sentences and cut-up phrasing everywhere.

So there it is: cloud whumps, birds chainsaw, helicopter miaows, traffic windchimes, cat declaims, the leaves of the young gum rattle and finally freed, there is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.


Image: Suburban Vernacular by Tor Lindstrand c/- Flickr Images of suburban and rural architecture from around Western Australia. A piece of prose for Dverse where Merril is hosting and asks us to write 144 words including the phrase, “there is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles” from the poem Drawings by Children
by Lisel Mueller. If you’ve ever wondered how to make a dada-ist poem – here’s Tristan Tzara’s instructions (best don’t do it on a windy afternoon with your ageing cat on the prowl)

And here’s The Kinks from 1966 with Sunny Afternoon

23 thoughts on “Suburban Sunday afternoon

  1. Love this especially; “The windchime declaims the obvious and now my old cat lopes up the path miaowing, leaps and whumps onto my chest scattering the dada-ist poem.” 🙂

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  2. A stunning piece that appealed to my senses, Peter, especially those ‘poorly drawn clouds’, the air rattling the pelicans’ feathers (a bird I’d love to see in real life), and helicopter and chainsaw breaking the silence of my Tuesday morning let alone your suburban Sunday afternoon. Well done, Anton, too, for freeing and saving the wall.

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