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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Caesar

The Dante Project


In autumn sunshine, I walk up from the beach,

wave at Belinda, my barber, then the barista boys

at Café Crumb. I go on past the pizza joint on the corner –

its notice in the window: Apologies we will be closed

Friday to Monday. Our son Andrew is getting married.

Up Crag Road to the junction with Ocean Street,

turn left into Wattle Crescent and along to our place.

Home, I walk up the stairs into the open-plan light,

look out to sea, the sandy crescent I’ve just strolled,

there’s maybe a sail in sight or motor-boat scoring bubbles

across the blue towards the wooded farther shore,

the uneven line of the purple mountain backdrop.

Is that some weather coming in, I say.

Not forecast for a while yet, you reply.

Then we sit on the deck in the warmth,

above the flourishing garden you’ve made

with its berries, fruit trees, vegetables,

its roses for remembrance, flowers for joy.

And if six o’clock should come by, I’ll say,

Champagne or Chardonnay? Or maybe I’ll have a beer.

We’ll sit and sip our drinks, and one of us

will say how blessed are we? Chinking glasses,

we know some who would scoff: sentimental

or too simple or some other argument

for strangulation of all delight; we’ll smile

for a moment, try to forget the venal world

and banish the fear this loving place,

our little piece of paradise,

depends on someone else’s hell.

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