Rochford Street Review

John Forbes working in Newtown. Photographer unknown. (Australian Poetry Library) John Forbes working in Newtown (circa early 1980s). Photographer unknown. (Australian Poetry Library)

This poem is occasional enough to perhaps benefit from a little bit of context, of the kind John didn’t especially like. In 1981 my partner Trish Davies and I moved to Blackheath, in the bushfire-prone Blue Mountains. At the time John’s parents — Len, a retired meteorologist, and Phyllis — also lived in Blackheath. Len was a keen golfer.

The poem and accompanying clipping came in two heavy cellophane sleeves, stapled together to form a double spread, or cottage industry looking mini-chapbook. It’s all Forbes-like enough to unleash lashings of nostalgia. I have no idea where the clipping came from, or when it was published. For all I know it might have come from an old magazine — something tells me unjustifiably it was Pol — removed from a doctor’s waiting room. The poem, typed…

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