Manly

Manly

 

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A return visit to Manly NSW  is always enjoyable. I visited when young. Later, when studying for the priesthood, I lived there for two years. I still like to return. This free verse captures some of that love of return.

Manly

It never leaves,
that welcome beachfront,
the Corso of character,
it courses in your veins
Once visited,
savoured,
lived in,
Manly becomes
part of you
and you
part of it.
Like a homing pigeon,
swift as a swallow,
opportunities to return
are grasped.
And there it is!
Sea scent filling the nostrils,
sun warmed breeze
brushing your cheeks.
Children direct
their Lycra clad mums,
seniors trundle their trolley-bags,
that quintessential survivor,
the ever present seagull,
is never far from sight
or sound
or food source!
Then comes the memories.
Not systematically,
like timely tides,
but a random reverie
of cameos:
The vacant bandstand
once filling the Corso
With “Walking in Memphis”,
or sounds of Salvos
playing their brass.
And the College,
up Darley Road,
formerly St. Pat’s,
people and parties
lectures and lunches,
they all spring to mind.
Or days of ‘drearies’
or dread,
When the foment of formation
(Or, was it ferment?)
weighed down like a heavy surf.
How it brought out the best and worst.
Some friends
we would have
possibly always.
And others, yes,
those other
predatory persons,
bristles stand on the neck
at the thought,
even the thought,
of some.
Yet others,
searching and lost,
who had cast themselves
adrift in our halls,
stayed,
until
another tide
beckoned them elsewhere.
I take it all in,
the foamy breakers,
the shifting sand
bringing it all back.
And I am there again,
like a delighted 22year old,
walking the promenade once more,
decadent Danish waffle cone
in my fingers,
Wet ice cream sluice
cool on the lips,
as the sea breeze has its way again.
It whispers:
“Welcome, come again!”
And
return you will.
You know
you will.

Simon C.J. Falk 30 August 2014

 

 

 

 

 

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