John Tranter: John Forbes: poem

  JPR01 John Tranter


  God on a Bicycle

                                                            for John Forbes

A handful of snow turns into a cloud
shaped like a camel, then a weasel, and briefly
troubles Carlton’s sidewalk restaurateurs
before cruising on to Port Phillip Bay
to ruin things for the weekend sailors –
                                  or is all this just a wish
projected from the forehead of the cyclist weaving
through the traffic outside ‘Readings’ bookshop?

Soon, he says, he’ll return to his true vocation:
icing complex jeremiads on a wedding cake
so the young couple on top of the confectionery
get a bit of a fright before the gin and tonics.

                                                            Right now he’s
bouncing off a silver Volvo as it makes the turn
into the driveway of ‘Gino’s Gents Apparel’ –
first you hear the thump, then the car tyres
crunching to a stop on the gravel made up of
countless chips of genuine Carrara marble.

‘camel… weasel’ – Hamlet, 3.2.392-99

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