Moorabbin Airport, July 29, 2002

the setting of the sun pours paint across the western sky
turns single engine aeroplanes into avian silhouettes
gliding lower just above my head on approach to landing
rising acutely to achieve departure
black streaks suspended against the spread of orange
it is sundown at Moorabbin

the birds above the airfield do not fall to earth
with the descent of evening
they flock and fly in lazy sweeps
across runways without resort to traffic control
length to length they rely on a visual approach
and seem not to require the formal protocols
see and be seen
hear and be heard

pelican flotilla …….. ibis solo
a wheeling phalanx of starlings ……… gulls

Moorabbin birds can find their way around the airport terminus
they do not land on top of each other as dusk descends
they do not crash ……… they do not die
from the absence of air-traffic control
after six o’clock
beyond the orange of sundown


© Frank Prem,2002

11 thoughts on “Moorabbin Airport, July 29, 2002

    • I lived near there at the time of writing. My recollection is that I was trying for word pictures in lieu of photos. Buildings, fountains, carparks – all fair game. Nice this piece reads ok. It’s a lottery when the poem is so old.

      Liked by 1 person

      • In 2002 I was living in Oakleigh and doing the midnight run out of Dandenong to Phillip Island, Inverloch etc. So I was driving past every night and day back then.
        It reads quite well but there has been so many changes around there that any building you described would probably not be there now. (I remember my grand parents telling me how much it had changed in the 80’s because they could remember it all from the days when they ran market gardens in the area)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah it is. My mum’s side of the family used to own a large chunk of land between Frankston Dandy Rd and Sth Gippy Hwy, pretty much the length of Abbott’s Rd was their market gardens and now it’s nothing like what even I remember it as as a kid. Back in the 70’s driving to Dandenong was nearly a drive to the country, as for driving to Philip Island, damn that was like a drive to a remote beach. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha I know what you mean. I have a few computer suppliers I visit in the eastern ‘burbs but that is about the extent of my city visiting now days. I’ll drive through the city but I hate stopping, I’m too spoilt by clean air and trees 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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