Every year, C.M. Simpson gathers up the short stories, flash fiction and poetry she’s written, published, or prepared for publishing, and puts them into a single volume. This year, there are two volumes. The first volume consists of all the work, C.M. has re-discovered from her early years of writing.
As C.M. explains at the beginning of each volume “poems and short stories form the playground I use to explore ways of putting words on paper to create different effects” and each volume contains a variety of styles and subjects, accompanied by what it was that inspired her at the time. This piece was sparked by watching a Connex train pull into a Melbourne train station after years of being used to the colour scheme of its predecessor.
Inspired by the first Connex train I ever saw run in Melbourne, and by my need to continue on my creative assignment for my second-year literature class, this poem was written on 12 August 2000.
I saw my first Connex train, today,
pulled up at the station
in its new coat
of blue and yellow paint.
yellow numerals on a blue background
and ‘Connex’ charging down its side.
Such a sight may not be new to those
who live in the U.S. of A.,
its land of origin,
where the company is newly arrived
to colonise, profit, pillage and explore,
or expand as you may put it,
its vivid coat of yellow and blue
where Australia’s gold and green
once was worn with pride
is a strangely disturbing sight
even with its bright new gloss diminished
by the misting drizzle of our winter rain.
What is it there?
In the Connex homeland.
Or Autumn’s Spring?
No ‘Wet’ or ‘Dry’ as in our northern states,
but four seasons,
Melbourne city’s all in a day,
with an overall theme,
rotating through the year,
yellow summer and blue skies,
on a winter morning’s platform.