Jack Howard – Ghost Town


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Studio 2:58 Jack Howard Songs For Longing – The Poems Of Dawson Hann EP. Moderately common. Available new in digital form.

Recommended Version.






We’re thinking, how bloody-minded that was,
A freezing night camped on the treeless plain;
What’s our reason this time, our “because”,
Except a way to confirm a place and name?

There are six of us in Cook that morning
(Not counting our dog and two resident cats);
The town’s still there for trains on the line out west;
Its skeleton staff dons way too many hats.

We watch as the Indian Pacific makes its visit,
Bringing to this ghost town of the Nullarbor
A host of fresh souls who, finding no shop,
Dolefully ask: what, then, are we stopping for?

To sift among the ruins for a life that was,
You need first an imagination, and a mind
That hears the cries of kids in the empty school,
And sees the pub a camera cannot find.

They wander, plainly lost, these urbanites
For whom real life is somewhere far from here;
Clearly, there’s nothing to buy, to take back home.
What place is true, that has no souvenir?

So our kelpie dog is photographed, an image
Suitable for a town to be remembered by;
“I can’t recall the place, but here’s its dog…”
Who says a “Kodak moment” cannot lie?


September, 2005.

[Dawson Hann]