Postcard From Eastern Beach Poem
Bollards On The Geelong Waterfront
Postcard From Eastern Beach is a poem about Geelong’s waterfront in the 1990s. It was known to be a bit cold and windy there in the winter and in the summer, it was somewhere for the local Geelongians to gather. There are some interesting and quirky things to note about the area.
A creative feature of Eastern Beach is the bollard art from The Geelong Bollards Trail, which displays 100 historical Geelong characters that are cheerfully painted on shaped wooden posts from Rippleside Park to Limeburner’s Point. Back when my poem was written, there were only a few bollards on the beach, but today their numbers have swelled.
Artist Jan Mitchell was commissioned by the City of Greater Geelong for the works and she did a wonderful job in making the area more unique. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2006 for transforming the Geelong waterfront with art. This year, they've put up flags all over the city with bollard faces on them, a bit like city mascots.
How The Area Has Changed
These days at Eastern Beach, the promenade has been revamped, new apartments have sprung up along the main drag, the gardens are much better looking and there is even amusement rides for the children and a much more bustling feel about the place. The council has planted nicer trees and concentrated on providing a commercial centre while retaining favourite watersports and activities in the bay.
When I frequented there in the 1990s, it was still an interesting place to hang out, but had more “character” (ie, more shady characters) and less tourism.
Giant Sea Creatures From Bass Strait
Another interesting feature of the area was when the local newspapers used to report on unusually giant squid, fish and sharks found out in Bass Strait (the sea between Australia and Tasmania) as the sea shelf is much deeper out there and home to a variety of abnormally large nocturnal and teethy sea creatures and fish.
Photos of these were quite strange indeed and kept the gossip flowing around Geelong. I was quite fond of collecting pictures of the weird marine life for awhile, safe in the knowledge that it would be some time before I found them in my fish and chips due to the persistence of scientists and reporters having a field day over them. An example is the giant squid, which can grow up to 15m long and several specimens from Bass Strait can be found at Museum Victoria.
In my poem, the notion that these giant sea creatures are radioactive is entirely fanciful on my part, though there was a lot of local conjecture about why the fish grew so big and the scientific community eventually settled on the idea of a healthy, non-polluted wilderness being the reason.
Postcard From Eastern Beach
© Suzanne Day 2003
(Please choose the most appropriate answer for you)
(a) has no surf
(b) has bollard people in stripey bathers
(c) is where the wogs make out on Saturday nights
(d) is a beach
(e) is somewhere I've never heard of
You can have a good time...
(a) by sipping champagne at the yacht club
(b) by frolicking on the grass
(c) by making out with the wogs on Saturday night
(d) by talking about the Shell Oil Refinery
(e) I don't know, I've never been there
(a) you can see all the way to Point Henry
(b) the promenade net protects swimmers from sharks
(c) you only need a convertible for Saturday nights
(d) the pier smells like rotting fish
(e) how the hell would I know when I've never been there?
(a) lonely boats honk across the harbour
(b) the jetty reminds you of Venice, in fog
(c) seagulls duel over scraps from Smorgy's
(d) the bollard people mysteriously vanish, on a Saturday night
(e) you might as well go somewhere else
It's true that...
(a) Bass Strait has undiscovered species of radioactive giant sea creatures
(b) a V8 will help you pick up on Saturday nights
(c) the bollard people have a higher IQ than the people on the beach
(d) whiting is another word for "shark"
(e) you will freeze your balls off whenever you go in the water
Do you like the idea of a poem presented as a quiz?
I wrote this poem as a multiple choice style quiz, and, although there are no correct answers, it is meant to reflect life at Eastern Beach while letting the reader participate, even if they’ve never visited.
© 2014 Suzanne Day