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Living Beside the Yarra

05 Dec 2018

Living Beside the Yarra Image

By Lori Fellows

We live beside the Yarra a changing scene each day

Quietly flowing past, out to Port Phillip Bay

Sourced up near Mt Baw Baw in a forested sub-alpine park

Swamps, fed by snowfalls causing water to disembark.

A narrow winding river trickling from the billabongs

Far distant to the mouth around 250k’s long.

Up in the far reaches the platypi still thrive

From our balcony we watch seals and dolphins dive.

Changes to the river have been made throughout the years

Work controlled flooding to quell people’s fears

Silt dredged from the river - construction of an isle

Levee banks built, trees planted in soil fertile,

Herring Island was called Como in 1928

Raging floods swept it away before it did abate

Como was swept away in 1934

A major flood such power, sorrowful tales of awe.

Working docks were built for the thriving city

Warehouses and factories belching fumes and smoke so gritty.

Appleton and Swanston Docks built along the river

Convenient for ships to unload goods and deliver.

It was once a busy river with sea-going ships

Wharves all along marking many slips.

Long gone is the trade of old

No more boats laden with wool or gold.

Gone are factories that belched out poisonous waste

Restaurants, bars and apartments stand proudly in their place.

The Bolte Bridge opened in 1999

Tall and monumental passing the test of time.

Ferry boats so busy during the hours of day

Gliding past the MCG, down towards the bay

Hire boats bounce along in their wakes

Early morning rowers push hard, backs break.

Yachts tall and graceful head out to race on the bay

Fishermen try their luck, watching tide times of the day.

Downstream Pier 35, a favourite restaurant

Sit inside or outside, order any drink you want

The container ships pass by hardly making a ripple

While diners enjoy a meal sipping their favourite tipple.

They say the Yarra flows upside down

Clear underneath, on top muddy brown.

Blue skies bring vivid blue reflections on the waterway

Pink, red and orange at the break and set of day.

Black cormorants in flocks, fly, swoop and dive

Into the river, on small fish they thrive

Rounding up schools of fish to catch

Fighting off seagulls that wait, watch and snatch.

The Pied Cormorant an adorable bird

Stands flat footed without a word

Chest puffed out all fluffy and white

Belly so full no chance of take off or flight

Perched with wings hung out to dry

Resembling penguins, watching swans and ducks drift by.

Webb Bridge, a stunning piece of structural art

The most photographed bridge in Melbourne, it stands apart.

The rubbish after rain gathers in swirls

In stark contrast brides and models pose and twirl.

Sightseers, yachties and pleasure seekers

We’ve even seen the occasional streaker!

One stood on the marina and stripped off his gear

Into the river with a white flash of rear.

Many bridges along the river, Queens, Hoddle and Charles Grimes

One dedicated to Melbourne footballer, the great Jim Stynes.

Changes continue to be slowly revealed

Giant buildings emerge of glass and steel.

A crane built in 1948, turning 70 this year

Is being restored, decked out in new gear.

The river keepers, fire boats and police keep all in check

While we sit back and enjoy the view from our elevated deck.

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