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Water Street

This poem follows from my earlier work "Wet", set in the city of Cairns, Far North Queensland. Having reached the place, the next challenge is to figure out how to survive in the prevailing weather conditions: 100 percent humidity and massive daily rainfall. Air conditioning helps, somewhat.


Water Street

Summer was the waiting for the Wet:

On Water Street, old Queenslanders

creaked and eased in dry crackling sways, leaning;

sniffling the coral cay north-easters,

and battle lines of white sky galleons

that steamed and curled and died.


On Water Street the palms frissoned and sighed

like small falling rock streams,

singing the Trades to nurture, renew,

to laugh, cry, give birth, rejoice and grow.

On Water Street anticipation flowed


like the creeks and lanes, the wooden mildewed stairs

that rise to sanctuary and ceiling fans

when the Wet appears. Dark on horizons,

eyes flashing, railing at forest peaks,

shouting the valleys, ruling Earth's affairs;


and chromium bullet rains

hurl pounding hologram sheets that bruise

and shred the slivered leaves

of the palms on Water Street,

erect and shaking in the dripping gloom,


while the lower slopes hang

like theatre backdrops from roiling,

dark-steam nimbus,

tumbling open-armed valleys to dank

proscenium rooms;


greens and browns barely coloured,

the way ahead not clear.

On Water Street the traffic moving slowly.


Chris Hubbard




Queenslandercoral caysky galleonsTradesrejoiceanticipationforestchromiumhologrampalmsproscenium

◄ The Glowering Mists of Autumn

Stone of Love ►


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