David Keig

Rookie - 13 Points (1951 / UK)

Nothing Much Happens In Sydney

Poem by David Keig

Nothing much happens in Sydney
Nothing much happens at all
Unless you count all the cricket
And tennis and squash and football.

Nothing much happens in Sydney
No life on the streets or in town
That's unless you count all the tourists
But then they do stick around
The things they always call 'icons'
Like the bridge and the rocks and the beach
You see there's nothing much happens in Sydney
Not too much to do in the heat.

There's one special building in Sydney
Right on the water it stands
Its roof looks like sails made of concrete
No wonder it's stuck on dry land
They called it the Opera House somehow
Not sure why they did at the time
Its got concerts and shows does the Opera
But not that much singing in rhyme.

Nothing much happens in Sydney
We're too far away don't you see
That's unless you count all the cafes,
Restaurants and brasseries.

Nothing much happens in Sydney
Some say it’s the arse end of the world
It takes a whole day to get anywhere
Anywhere else on this earth.

So why has the number of people
Who live here quite gone through the roof?
There's close on four million in Sydney
That's if they're telling the truth.

Perhaps things do happen in Sydney
Perhaps it isn't that bad
Perhaps there is life here in Sydney
But we take it for granted and have
A view that our city is lacking
And I find that really quite sad.

It's time to wake up to Sydney
It's time to open our eyes
Where else in this world that we live in
Are signs saying 'Arancini and Pies'?

The truth is this land called Australia
Was first settled by the dour pommes
Now there's every race in Australia
Yet we still feel we don't quite belong.

We think that nothing much happened
From when we got here till today
Our history's stuck in a closet
Locked up with the key thrown away.

Now two hundred years is a long time
A long time in all history books
But there's something quite strange about Sydney
We miss things 'cause we don’t look
For the history that does surround us
In every part of this town
That history's living and breathing
If only we do look around.

There's the barracks and then there's the gaol house
Which for maximum impact were planned
To keep these new Australians
In line with the laws of the land.

The gaol house, it stands on a corner
On a higher part of the town
People looked up to the goal house
And the law on the people looked down.

There's clear sentiment in this story
A sentiment best not forgot
And that we won’t value our future
If we don't value what we have got
From the people that were here before us
Our ancestors here on this land
If we don't get to know our own history
Then our present we won't understand.

19 October 2004

David Keig

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Read poems about / on: history, house, concrete, october, people, beach, future, city, time, today, sad, truth, water, world

Poem Submitted: Monday, October 18, 2004

Poem Edited: Monday, October 18, 2004