Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Circular Quay

Another one out into the ether. This one was inspired by Here, by Larkin. It's a sad imitation, but I was trying to experiment with evoking the sense of a place.

Circular Quay

Through foam and saltwater, her stern points
north as water would have it, not according
to some worn path, but against wind and waves –
the water too dark to be luminous;
instead according to some map of the harbour,
where headlands resemble scuffed up sleeves
hung out to dry, grasses swirling clockwise

and the widening quay's sleepy semi-circle
taking it all in: loose plastics floating,
gulls tiring, gathering towards
a motionless street performer posing
with children under a palm tree.
Here people stop to look and watch,
to wonder if she might sink or roll
in the slightest wind and whether they
would live or drown
under the weight of the wharf.

Beside ticket booths and fluoro hats,
magazine stands and boxing kangaroos
there's talk of the stockmarket, lights flashing
and buses coughing to get going
Residents of the street rolling over to catch
the day beginning like the pouring of a good wine;
the light decanted between bespoke suits
bought in Beijing, and silk ties flapping.
The gates of the train station open to
a briefcase, a twenty dollar bill
and your made up face.


Thora and Dean said...

i like this one soph :)

we are back march 7

sophg said...

thanks thors

ooh not long now. can't wait to see how baby m has grown.

Joshua Maule said...

I really like this. It's quite journalistic. And definitely evokes Circular Quay's juxtapositions.

I think your poem brings out the beauty ('where headlands resemble scuffed up sleeves') and opportunism ('Beside ticket booths and fluoro hats, magazine stands and boxing kangaroos') of the Quay really nicely.

Good one.

sophg said...

thanks josh :) I'm wondering what you mean by journalistic?

I'm glad it conveys what I was hoping to convey - as you say, the beauty and opportunism.

Joshua Maule said...

I think you captured the scene in the same kind of way a feature writer would. Describing the momentary mood of the place. Or maybe that's normal for a poem?

sophg said...

I think I know what you mean. Yeah, lots of poetry is written with that kind of momentary feel, but it's a feature of this one I guess. Interesting comparison!