Each year they arrive in seasonal swarms;
they work in car-size packs of four or five;
one driver, one chick and his social norms:
Lead-foot Larry, Sheila, Kevin and Clive.
They stand over engines, argue the make;
they ogle the curves with reference to style;
they kick the rubber and burn-out the brake;
allude to perfection with a wry smile!
It’s a rev-heads pilgrimage – SummerNats.
It’s a week away with the girls at home.
A petrol-fuelled assemblage of cool cats.
A homage to fresh ‘tats’ and polished chrome.
. Driven by the piston, the muffler’s grunt!
. It’s all about horsepower, and what’s up front!

© Tim Grace, 8 January 2012

To the reader: Culture’s a construction built upon common codes of practice. So, once again, I’m drawn to write about people and events in time and place. In this case, the annual gathering of motor enthusiasts (rev-heads). The Summer Nationals (SummerNats) are an Australian celebration of the car at its ultimate best; it’s all about performance – and with that comes theatre. The car, the driver and the entourage are all on display – and don’t they love it!

To the poet: A small and dense narrative, unfamiliar to a reader, needs a strong and sequential thread. This sonnet reads like a list of snap-shots; each line transitioning to the next with a quick dissolve. As a series of frames the story develops – one line at a time – each line being responsible for explaining and expanding upon those that surround it. In keeping with the style, it was important to have a final couplet that summer-ized the plot.


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