9.The Town I Loved So Well: Images of Gawler SA.


Gawler Railway Station - Nineteenth Street (Completed 1879)

Gawler Railway Station (c 1885)

Gawler Railway Station (c 1895)

Gawler Railway Staff - March 1973

Original Locomotive built by James Martin (c 1890s)

Railway Station Early Morning

Sun has freed a flock of mottled pigeons

from night rafters beneath the station roof

now they peck along the iron rails

finding between small stones a lean breakfast

metal fences, benches and hand rails

still wear a thin patina of dew

no one has stepped yet into fares and distance

the timetable of synchronised connections

and the stations of events and expectation

only the rhythmic nodding of a pigeon head

the slow dusting of light on a few itinerant trees

the platform morning swept, before stilled air

is shaken in a long steady thunder of the 5.52

and pigeon wings climb invisible rungs to safety.

Jeff Guess

Railway Station

A careful construction of old red clinker bricks

the crumbling architecture of what it takes

to measure transience

counting passengers in and out

from a platform where the train that is arriving

is already returning - sliding back into itself

in the slip case of illusion and the clock

that holds it to a timetable

of signals and bells

the nods and winks of an old conducting

and a muffled speaker box that has always

promised, beyond fares a kind of certainty

after two centuries of small hedge sparrows

pecking up this pale afternoon sun again.

Jeff Guess

Statue of James Martin (1821-1899)

©Jeff Guess 2017

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