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Weather vane

Read the poem, then read the notes at the end of the poem, then read the poem again. That’s if you’ve got nothing else to do all day!



Open window


Saturday night

No one can see me

My street soldier –

a silvery green poplar –

standing sentry

Seeing, unseen


Plump black olives

ready to pluck

from the neighbour’s tree

Charring eggplants, peppers

carried by the breeze

It smells like Sicily:

pungent, sizzling


But I’m in Northcote Point

in a half light

eating salted peanuts

one by one

off a silver teaspoon

Sipping Spanish rosé


in my room


Sky changes to dreamy pink

Dog yaps its heart out

Traffic lights at top of street

Blood red, electric green

Phase in, out, and in again

The dark descending

There is no moon


No one can see me

Saturday night

I’m hidden


Drinking Spanish rosé


Track 11 Gottan Project

Pulsing in my veins

Better play it again because

track 12

is melancholic




On the surface this poem is an observational piece, and brings to light the sights, smells and sounds that come in through an open window, things we often miss or are immune to, as we go about our own busy lives.

But it’s about much more than that. As the poem goes on, seducing you with vibrant images of plump olives and sizzling peppers and eggplants, you realize you are being led into someone’s private world and it’s not an entirely wholesome place.

There’s a sense of isolation in that while all this life is swirling around outside, and is seemingly so close, the person writing the poem is not part of it.

There’s sadness, too, because it is Saturday night and the person is alone, and unobserved, filling in the evening with a ritual of slowly eating and drinking.

Then the words and images become more stark (Dog. Yaps. Its. Heart. Out.), and the illumination from the street lights is jarring, as the impending sense of doom increases in the fading evening light.

By the second-to-last stanza the person is no longer sipping wine, but drinking it, and is now ‘huddled’, probably maudlin. The poem then comes to an abrupt end with an unexpected quirky finish.

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