making tracks

there’s a train track just behind the place i’m living, now. there’s a train track behind the place i grew up, too.

after a while, you don’t hear the trains go by.

when i first came to byron bay, the train track was shut. they’ve started work on it, though, now. so there’ll be trains going along here, too, soon.

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it’s a disused train track, this one. a track that carelessly throws up weeds and hibiscus flowers. it’s no longer a way for vehicles to travel from place to place, an in-between. it’s a place in itself.

a living room springs up. a couch faces a wall that still carries the hiss of spray cans in it. the plants grow into the cushions, relentless. this track has no need for footbridges. it has its own bridge, a bridge that is rotting out from beneath itself. a bridge that requires a certain sort of crossing. a careful sort. a delicate sort.

it holds the clatter of a thousand trains in its silences. it’s a clamour that throbs under the warm metal and, from time to time, bursts out in the slap of a branch or the sigh of knickers falling to the ground. the only sort of stillness here is the stillness that trembles.

i’ve walked up and down this track as many times as i can remember. before i came here, even.

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home coming : going home

last summer, i went home. it’s the first summer i’ve spent at home, where i grew up, in over ten years. 

i grew up, mostly, on the side of a hill in the north of tasmania. close to the coast. in tarleton, to be precise. 

sometimes i wonder if i keep on leaving so i can keep on going back. 

i’ve been years and years coming back to this river. coming home. i’m only just realising i left. i’m sitting on the railway bridge, looking out at the sea, and realising i haven’t come back this way, this way, since i left. i’m leaving all over again and coming back, all at once. and still, the river’s here. the river i’m come back to.

home. where everything flows from. where everything flows to. the mountain; the river; the sea. singing the same songs, over and over. i’ve returned in the meantime, of course. over and over. but i’m come back now. it’s not the same thing.

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