The Stately Old Mansions of Riversdale Road

August 3rd, 2013 | Hawthorn, Photos, Poems for adults, Sunnyside

Riversdale Road is one of Hawthorn’s major thoroughfares. Just as an aside, Garry and Roberta Roberts, who owned “Sunnyside”, and did so much for C. J. Dennis, lived in Hastings Road, which runs off Riversdale Road.

I was walking past these large houses (mansions?) recently and, although I have driven down the street many times, suddenly felt I was seeing them for the first time.

The Stately Old Mansions of Riversdale Road

This morning I ambled along in the sun;
No hassle, no hurry, no pressure to run.
I took in the scene, and my racing mind slowed –
The stately old mansions of Riversdale Road.

How bright, still, the colours – the red of the bricks,
The gloss of the paint in a myriad licks.
Something inside of me heated and glowed
As I gazed at the mansions of Riversdale Road.

The windows so pretty, the balconies high,
The angles the roofs made against the blue sky.
Through my thin veins a rich energy flowed,
From the stately old mansions of Riversdale Road.

I know what you’re thinking. They hark to a time
When divisions of class and religion were prime.
Above the rough surge a minority rode
In the stately old mansions of Riversdale Road.

Yet the buildings bring vigour. The architects’ view
Stands through the ages, and paints the world new
Each time the sun rises. They never corrode,
The stately old mansions of Riversdale Road.

At last I moved on, but I carried the thread
Of the lives that my ancestors once might have led
In my heart and my soul, and I think that it showed…
I’d been touched by the mansions of Riversdale Road.

© Stephen Whiteside 01.03.2013

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