No peppers sweep our barbered gardens. Here
no splattered patterns match the shadows where
your root-warped sidewalks’ fracture cracks appear
to time their eastward-creeping progress through
the shifting arcs that mark the turning year.

Our taste excludes wind-vaned rotundas with
short surplices that only serve to sieve
the sun-shafts down. No iron-skirt graveyard gives
us space to flaunt atrocious taste in lace.
We die as uniformly as we live.

Our waters are well mannered here, no stream
shows bones of ages in its cliffs, no screen
of heat, Hans Heysen gums or lignum leans
across our tailored town and tidy minds,
unless we let our standards slip — and dream.

Why stay when wider prospects draw you from
sagged, flagged verandahs propped against a sun
that whitens spray where chuffing sprinklers run
in punctuated arcs? Promotion ’s star
shines brighter when haze-curtained days are gone.

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