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Last Drinks at Byron Bay

Last Drinks at Byron Bay

when all the backpackers

are stacked back in their buses

when the surf is as flat as the Nullabor

when the sand-castle-king is washed by the tide

when the wind has blown sand over the steps of man

when shop eat and shop ‘til you drop

has deadlocked the door and emptied the parking lot/

and to market to market to buy that sarong

has swept the park, grabbed a beer a takeaway, then gone

when the cloak of clouds has covered the cape

and the ink of night has stained the sea/

when we’re burnt by the sun and salted by the waves

when our Byronesque names become:

Oberon and Titania and Puck and DJ and Trance,

and we danced with love and we danced with money

and the mirror-ball spins from the rock to the sand

to the pub to the pillow/where the strangers kiss

and their hands are on fire

and their lips run rivers over skin/

where there are no days no hours when the night stops

when the blackout stops the town

stops all the electric clocks/

and the merry-go-round of stars scarring the night

and when all the sperm have drowned in their condoms

when the animal sadness wakes after the loving/

when we’ve read all the eyes on the street

that the sunglasses hide on the beach/

when the money doesn’t matter

the money matters

and when the cops arrive at dawn

and pull the plugs on the doof/

when the cyberdelic-triberdelic dreadlocks unwind

when the dance is done and the drugs have unwound

when Fast Eddie’s jokes have sped from the town

and when the television’s killed

any culture that’s left to be killed/

when the shark gets the fisherman like Jack gets Jill

and the cameras catch the thrill

and the taxpayers foot the bill…

when the cast of thousands

becomes a one-man show:

a fire-eater fire-walker fire-twirler

the feral with a fire-stick

like a child with a sparkler/

a mouth of burning metho spraying the twilight

(the crowd’s delight)…

and the little drummer boy

drums for a tiny dancer

(emails the moon)

busking for coins

for soft words over cyber-coffee-cups

(crying for attention)

in a salt-crusted town of love and sex

and surf and cafes and DJs and dance parties/

where the troubled and twisted dance with the tanned and the trim

where there is no drought no winter

where the horizon is curved water

when the town is transient in the dreamtime/

where sun-painted people (painted with youth)

and age won’t defeat beauty (not this weekend)

and every dawn rises a holy holiday

when there are NO last drinks at Byron Bay

when the big bus-turnaround rolls the faces into town:

trainlines track-marks highways upgrade byways/

a mainline vacuums into an endless carnival of sand people

under the 15 second sweep of the lighthouse glow

where the seawinds ever blow

the tides draped high and low/

the traffic’s breath test and sniffer dogs

and the dude’s ‘yo’…

where god is good hair

where hot is cool//chill is filth

and the mobile’s ringing in the parties

dot com don’t come hold on I’m a’coming!

the raging Lord Byron plants his foot on the pedal/

and Byron’s Bay is:

a tattoo-blue ocean

a ship of red wine

a cape of sunrise kisses

and a 10am checkout time.

David Hallett