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The Tangent

Two Rope Swings

Whether in our own back fields, or burning Savanna plains,
Some kid will build a rope-swing on a brook that has no name.

Living through halcyon days...

And be they here or there, they'll wile the days away,
In the dream of youth eternal, in their homes of yesterday.

And if they read the world - in books, they might just see each other's swing -
- In their minds eye they catch a glimpse of trees in the water,
And sometimes imagine, that Hawthorn and Hedge...
... Become Baoab and Bush.

I built my swing down Weston Woods at the meeting of two tracks,
Behind the Rhododendrons so I could find my way back.

Akhimi built his o'er the creek that marked the village bounds,
He could see the herd of Elephant on the distant shimmering ground.

And as our lives go on we think it's all still there,
The image gets so tempting, it's like an un-said prayer.

Did he see me in a bowler hat?
Was my image of him as naive as that?
Did I see a world where it's 'all still here'
Where nothing lives in danger or doubt or fear?

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A couple of years after they shot that herd
I learned to play piano on the tusks that 'I deserved'
Akhimi struggles to feed his ailing Mum
Sells me ornamentaion that he gathers with his gun
And we think Africa is like some fairyland
Like in the picture books we read when we played on the swings.
Lions, Tigers, Wildebeest, Zebra - Kilimanjaro!

But drop a pin in the map! You'll likely find...
An abandoned gas station and a disused mine
A tanker on a dusty road (with a BP logo to show how much we owe)
Living through halcyon days...

Just down the road I turn into a quiet cul-de-sac,
Where cars are parked on driveways and TVs shine the wildlife back.

Akhimi buys a Cola from the garage on City Road,
He wanders back the freeway to the bridge at Porte D'Arraud.

Living through halcyon days...

And if we wind back both our clocks, we know we're standing there...
... where once stood our swings
Hanging from trees,
By the Water.