Friday, 28 January 2011

ode to brisbane

I was out doing some fieldwork today. On the way back to the office I switched on the radio in time to hear the premiere of a fun poem on ABC Brisbane (612 KHz on the AM dial). You can listen online through your computer's media player by clicking Win (Windows Media Player) or Real (Real Player) in the righthand panel under Internet Radio 612 ABC Brisbane.
The program is called Afternoons with Richard Fidler, and the host had a local poet Daniel Viles on the show. Here's Daniel's ode to brisbane post Flood '11.
The poem's a lot more fun recited, so i suggest read the poem and have a listen to the audio after.

link to audio
(The bold place names in the poem are Brisbane suburbs).

We moved here for the weather
posted 28 January 2011 by Rebecca Levingston
Daniel Viles is the poet laureate of 612 ABC Brisbane.
Today he poured his heart into a poem about his home town.
Brisbane... we moved here for the weather.

We Moved Here for the Weather
Oh sing a song of Brisbane! Top of 32 and fine.
Two million earthen vassals tightly squished and crammed together.
The number of us born here is approximately nine
and the rest of us just moved here for the weather.
"Pack your bags, we’re heading northward,” said the middle third of Melbourne.
“Thus us choice,” said much of Auckland as they emptied the City of Sails.
There were several trucks from Adelaide, maybe one or two from Perth
and there’s no-one left in country New South Wales.

And those born here made them welcome, taught them basic navigation,
though they kept on saying TOO-wong and they couldn’t spell Coorparoo.
And it’s grating when your lover says, “meet me in ten at Ow-chen-fluvver” (Auchenflower)
but you meet them ‘cause they’ve got more cash than you.

Like the quarter million merchant bankers who ran from Collins Street,
some who built their Windsor castle, some who built their Chelmer chateau,
some who built their Moggill manor, some who looked down past their feet
as they built their fort atop Monto Gravatto.

Like the hundred thousand property investors from Vaucluse,
all of whom self-relocated ‘fore the economic slump.
When asked, “Pray tell where you’re born?” They each proudly answer, “Er, Hawthorne,
For compared with here, Vaucluse is just a dump.”

Then there are those from overseas, like six thousand Sudanese
who fled the terrifying tank, the belligerent bazooka.
You can build a whole new life here if you just hold our your hand
in the land of opportunity: Moorooka.

Greeks and Italians moved to West End and became each other’s best friend
sharing baklava di Bari and spaghetti spartagiana.
While the Tongans and the Maori now live handsome in Bellbowrie.
You’re from Vietnam? Hey, welcome! Here’s Inala.

Here’s to those who built on Milton, those who grow that Rocklea broccoli.
There’s no more well-heeled than in Fairfield through the whole Antipodes.
Have you noticed how uncannily El Dorado looks like Annerley
and how no language makes you swoon like Rosaliese?

No metropolis created is by praise so ‘unindated’.
It’s a Gamma plus world city setting forth to snap the tether
that’s been binding those few people who were actually born in Brisbane
and the rest who simply moved here for the weather.

(c) Daniel Viles 2011

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