It’s November and once again, in solidarity with NaNoWriMo participants, I’m taking on a quantity-is-what-matters-and-hang-the-quality project: 14 Onegin stanzas in the month.
I was in Canberra on Halloween night. There wasn’t a lot of trick-or-treating going on in Civic, but as our small group emerged from a pleasant Sri Lankan meal we witnessed what may have been a Halloween-inspired moment.
Verse 1: Spirit of place
It’s nine. We’ve eaten. Frost tomorrow.
The street is still except for these
ebullient young. I’d like to borrow
half their cheer. It’s twelve degrees,
which doesn’t damp down their endorphins:
two young men as sleek as dolphins,
to win a dare or act the fool,
surf naked in the square’s staid pool.
Emerging, one is towelled and shaking.
The other, threatened with a phone,
sprints laughing round the square alone
and wet, all modesty forsaking.
It’s Halloween. No ghosts. No fright.
The body owns this town tonight.