Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lines composed while thinking about the Powerhouse Museum
                                                                    after Billy Collins

How agreeable it is sitting here in Perth
not thinking about St. Mary’s Cathedral,
the Domain or Hyde Park’s flowering morning.
No need to stand in queues for the Museum or

the Opera House with its sarcophagus of lights,
or count the pigeons lunching at El Alamein,
the wrinkled outlines of its spray like saints in glass.
No need to get lost in the streets of Glebe, memorizing

a succession of streets to the Friend in Hand,
or view Picasso’s masterpieces in gallery frames.
How much better it is to be at home in thirty eight
degrees, with the air-conditioner on, books on the lap.

And after the heatwave, a trip to the supermarket
to buy a journal, some pens, to record just how
a monumental sun drags itself down like a dungeon
ball, sets at dusk, a tired rucksack into the night.

             *   *   *

A Spyglass on Sydney

I would have liked to get to know
the city better than three years.

I have so many memories I don’t know
what to do with them. On second thoughts

I’ll move my table closer to the harbour.
My binoculars spin on my neck to get

a better view. Further from the bridge
there’s a bottle of wine on the ferry,

group activities, everyone my age.
I’m reminded of the workplace, shoes

paired in chronological order, wedges
from George Street, platforms from Kings

Cross. There is attention in stiletto heels.
I shoulder my way into Wynyard, for more

shoes. I can learn to dance, in circumspect.
Only at the movies do I face a new problem,

not the sailor, or that Damien never phones.
I’ve left the iron on, and no-one’s at home.

             *   *   *

Home for the Holidays

Home for the holidays and I’m three stanzas
between country air and deep compression.

Up there the clouds are snowfields, icecaps of
Antarctica. From my window, I feel the force
into Mascot. I have a stubborn prune in my throat.

I’ve been away studying Flaubert and Mallarme.
Parents think I’m Judith Enright, but it’s Marco Polo
I am, back and forth, back and forth, amongst

a constellations of random stars. Sydney, the green
blotter of my youth, pimples and Tafe certificates.
Prince Alfred Park where I almost died, tripped

by four iced legs. Sydney, ah! The harbour at dawn,
spinnakers at sunset, seabirds on the Opera House.
The rock stars & concerts I sometimes lost track of.

Let’s leave the house, catch a ferry to the zoo. Hear the
same peacock cry, giving out his woodwind sound.

             *    *    *



Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

of Arc & Shadow

of Arc & Shadow
Published by Sunline Press, WA

The Joyous Lake

Par écrit

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