Outside The Asb Tennis Arena. - Poem by Michael Walker
Before the evening semi-finals in January,2014,
when the star of Venus Williams sparkled brightly,
I walked out of the ASB Arena to the nearby Domain.
I sat on a park bench, to dine and drink cordial.
I was alone in the twilight, gazing at the skyline:
office buildings with blue-green windows that I like.
The eternal flow of cars down the motorway was
a contrast to the calm harbor in the distance.
I felt that peace which is like nirvana;
in a twilight zone out of time and space.
A man walked up to put papers in the bin
and we exchanged a cordial strangers' greeting,
before he said, 'I'm in the tent over there'.
I thought of the blue-and-white tent covers
where spectators sip champagne court side.
However, he pointed out his own blue tent
under the broad branches of an oak tree:
he smiled knowingly, went back to his dwelling
for the summer night, and out of my life.
I had glimpsed loneliness and poverty,
even dignity, as he indeed lived there.
The affable stranger stayed in my mind
longer than the semi-final under floodlights.
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