Old Joke In a Sunny Spot, Yesterday


At the corner of Princes

and Cemetery Parade East

where Lygon Street leaves the shops

and tries to become a suburb

a billboard hangs off the iron balustrades

announcing Exclusive Grave Sites

Going Fast Enquire Now


(you might have to slow to see it)


it’s one of those days

when the sun is as gentle

as lips on your forehead

and I have to laugh out loud

here as the mad traffic hurtles by

the bus horn detonates a moment

just enough to save a jay walker


(at the sign, not the jay walker)


whose earphones want to make that call

the fates almost colliding in pathos

an Ethiopian guy from the estate

hanging on amidst the private developments

smiles at me a rueful headshake

and I shouldn’t (I know)  but it happened

Yeah, they’re dying to get in there

James Walton