Streets are sounds in the mouth. Shorthand for the walks we took, the feelings at intersections with history that are interchangeable with names, days. Heartbreaks. A life- clock beating faster as a red light from another world flickers on a screen. Bad news or good. Exhilaration or loss. A dog escaped from a lead. A dead phone line. A bunch of daisies tied with a scarf. Perspective ends at an orange and pink sky resting pines and gables in a whoop. Bonney. Highclere. View. Mount Coot-tha the low flat penumbra of a sky on fire. Bellevue. Lisson. Skirting the issue. Adamson. Too obvious. Armagh. A confidence to keep. Railway Parade. A glass half full. Jolly. Turn into Adelaide and it’s more serious. Avoid the mainstream and exhale. Burrell. The flowers in the gardens we walk past are words too— scientific or commonly used. Both often. Testing myself with botanical symbolism: memory of other gardens forty years ago. Other voices. Cadences. People wandering the roads in my head.
The steadfastness of trees has been even more vital to me than usual during uncertain times. Photographing favourite pockets of inner city trees (and cloud formations, for that matter) that I’ve encountered on daily walks is a kind of stress-reducing ecotherapy but also a way of connecting with the past.
Jane Frank’s latest chapbook is Wide River (Calanthe Press, 2020). Her work has most recently appeared in Westerly, Not Very Quiet, Shearsman, Live Encounters, The Ekphrastic Review and Meridian. She was a feature poet at StAnza International Poetry Festival in March 2021. Originally from Maryborough in the Fraser Coast, she now lives in Brisbane where she teaches creative writing at Griffith University.
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