Circular Quay

1 November 2014

for (but not to) Gig Ryan

You heard me. Don’t pretend you didn’t.
This town’s foliage
corkscrews down from trees that sound
a bit off. Gentles in a neat layer
writhe like a pullover
over what at a distance looks
crisply modelled.
Up close, the scalloped sails pullulate
with air gusts writhing.
But of course you knew what I was
going to say and didn’t have to pay heed.

Closeness cracks me up, it really does.
Eyes water and nostrils stream.
Buddleia brings butterflies across
the straits, and a sticky cloak of caterpillars
strips bark from dragon trees that weep
red blots.
Millions of bits of mirror
set in concrete beckon to the high cirrus.
No they don’t. If we weren’t so close
we’d have to face each other,
swarming across plenteous tiles.

Climate once mutual shrinks to its events.
Connectedness is
building a free state on pontoons
invisible from this wharf,
charging flakes of skin, fish scales
to overlay
paschal hordes showing up
obscurely furious. Words are spat
across the tresses of light breeze
a Koori boy puppets in, clothed
with tattoos of scabies spiralling at work.

I call him warrior and he trickles coin.
Here where paving is so thin if reticulated,
boots trouble the buried: re-
knit with aftershock as by the drop
of heavy fruit,
colonists paw at the straits high above.
They are wanting to shape up but
arise in glitter,
pegging out the foreshore in a seam
of gold studs. Take your hands
out of your pockets, stretch your arms.

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