By | 1 October 2020

lines written upon remembering the opening ceremony of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, after a long illness

Tell me again how you came to be here,
ringed by burning rains
alone, brown-coat zombies
pummelling Long Plain
in ranked surges of union jacks.
Where’s your ticket for jostling
so the structural steel decks –
the belle dame raises her chin –
ecstatic that the sea has hemmed you
in? We are ready to sing.

Beneath the scalpel-thin cross
hairs searching hearts’ pipe-
work for dissenting iodine, hiss
her indrawn breath and gape
for the first bellowed syllables.
The blue and the white, by flooded stairs
must face the elders on this night
of capes and tights; of jaws.
She salutes, her flame sets
down to foaming applause.

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