Caroline Springs

For the dVerse prompt “outside looking in”, a partly imagined, partly remembered impression of the houses of Caroline Springs:

If you lived here,
you’d be home now.
In an infinite purgatory
of tarmac and dead grass,
unbroken and uninteresting,
from horizon to horizon.

If you lived here,
you’d be home now.
In a slab-sided flat-roofed house
like an overgrown public toilet block
masquerading as architectural minimalism,
dredged in the colours of depression.

Still another two hours to go,
still another hundred kilometres
of highway overpasses, underpasses,
traffic lights and tunnels. But…
If you were home now,
you’d live here.

If you live in Caroline Springs, my apologies… I’m sure it’s not such a blight on the landscape as it was 20 years ago when we used to (frequently) drive past it on the way between Ballarat and the outer eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and look at the sign that said “If you lived here, you’d be home now”.  


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30 responses to “Caroline Springs

  1. Great poem! I love the use of the sign and the imagery is very evocative. I googled, very curious about this place. It seems to be a suburb on the western fringe of Melbourne now. Does that sound right?

  2. Love the imagery here—it’s so descriptive and fleshed out. It’s stunning if not incredible how things can change in the span of a decade or two—something we can always cherish in memory at least. Beautifully and evocatively penned!

  3. Not what I was expecting after the first two lines but a very welcome surprise!

  4. Stunning poem, Kate. I felt as if I was right there, observing it all as I moved along. I love these lines:

    “In an infinite purgatory
    of tarmac and dead grass,
    unbroken and uninteresting,
    from horizon to horizon.”

    So filmic ❤

  5. writingwhatnots

    Striking poem. It’s not just beauty that lingers in our memory is it? – the lines that Sunra quotes describe a few places I’ve driven through. I like the repetition of the the first two lines, and their reverse at the end.

  6. not me
    merican buoy
    oh joy
    the red white and blue
    and near you


  7. the poem makes me want to keep driving – brilliantly told and the way you unfolded this passing scene and wrapped it between opposing lines at start and end

  8. LOVE how you used “If you lived here, you’d be home now”. … brilliant write.

  9. Delicately told, thank you

  10. Ugh, it doesn’t sound like a very happy place to be. I bet that concrete is like a brick oven in the heat also. We have what we call “the projects” here, that sound very similar to what you’re describing, where they push those who are in abject poverty to live.

  11. A cool (harsh) poem about Caroline Spring took me by surprise. I note your apologies, but still – tough commentary (even though I get it). Everyone needs somewhere to live, as the sprawl that has engulfed this place demonstrates. What about the parkland and lake? Are they saving graces at all? Lockdown in Caroline Springs is probably the same as anywhere else. It isn’t as if you can get out and about to enjoy cultural experiences on offer anywhere else anyway.

    • Artificial lakes… well, to each their own. I guess when the landscape is that barren, putting in a lake makes sense. Last I saw it was 20 years ago – hmmm… let me just google what it’s like now.
      An occasional tree around the McMansions, grass around the lake… and street sculptures contributing to the rich cultural life of the locals. Although they removed the sharp bits from the sculptures to stop kids spiking live cats on to them.
      Sorry, you were saying…?

  12. sanaarizvi

    There is such a cinematic feel to this poem .. lovely, lush and poignant descriptions especially; “In an infinite purgatory of tarmac and dead grass,
    unbroken and uninteresting, from horizon to horizon.” Love it! 💝💝

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