Jennifer save me. Seven Mile Beach. January 2013.
Australia Day? I don't like it.
Australia Day, John Tranter
‘Lovely, isn’t it? The water views?
And there’s something historical
about the Harbour – go on, help yourself,
there’s heaps more prawns – of course
in the old days it was totally unimproved.
But they brought in boatloads of crims –
and screws, prostitutes, a few politicians
to run the show and look after the profits.
A set-up built to last.’
So spoke a Sydney business identity, over
lunch on the water – oysters, chardonnay –
‘Another lobster, love?’ – while far below
his former partner drifted fathoms deep
through the blue gloom, in a concrete suit,
to his final bottom-of-the-harbour scheme
among the barnacles and the bones
dozing in the wavering light.
A seagull sailed across a paler blue.
The rigging tap-tapped against the mast;
nearby, rich kids wasted a weekend
on Daddy’s yacht. ‘See that boat?
The Sergeant here reckons
it’s full of buddha sticks, no risk;
he’s waiting for the appropriate
moment to drop over and say g’day.
It’s gotta be the life of Riley. Go on,
have another prawn.’