Tuesday Poem: The Johnsonville Volcano

The sea has flooded Lambton Quay,
turned buses into hydrofoils.
A subtle charcoal pinstripe is all the rage
in this year’s range of swimsuits for officials.
The Johnsonville Volcano erupted on Saturday,
turning three prime retail outlets into slag.
Brave shoppers, risking a fiery death,
shepherded whiteware to safety.
Blame isostatic rebound. Blame white elephants
and their love of motorway construction.
We’ve learned that indoor sports centres
readily convert to swimming pools.
We’ve learned that nature doesn’t stuff around.
Wear something light and ash-resistant.
Get on the road early. Fit asbestos tyres
to the wheels of your asbestos car.
Credit Note: This is one of three new poems by me that are included in JAAM 31, the 2013 issue of JAAM magazine, which has just been published and will be launched in a couple of weeks. They are the first new poems I’d written in quite a while, so I’m very pleased to see them in print. It looks like a great issue.
Tim says: A little scientific note: “isostatic rebound” is the rise of land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last glacial period – but in this poem, I’m thinking of Antarctica rising as the ice sheets slough off due to climate change, and its proposed consequence of increased volcanic activity.
The Tuesday Poem: Has not maintained a silence.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Poem: The Johnsonville Volcano

  1. Sure you're not Australian? I know of an anthology of Australian speculative poetry this would suit quite well. Unusually political for one of your poems, Tim.

  2. Well, I can't *prove* that I wasn't born in the little town of Akubra, under the shadow of mighty Mt Overlook…My most recent poems (and fragments that may turn into poems) are more political – stand by for controversy!

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