Sydney Variations

June2016 162

a snail shell
of grey concrete
round and round
this underground car park
on our way to the theatre

ferries rock
over gleaming waters…
when I was a child
pointed iron posts
lined this green sea-wall

people—
all colours and shapes—
our guessing game
who is local
who is sightseeing

peach savarin
with mascarpone
a last sip of wine—
these are compensations
for the grey hair we wear

brown curls
bounce above the cello
such a young frame
holding all that
polished mahogany

an oboe held
by a man, coy of smile,
neat of beard—
I’d like to share
a laugh with him

a handshake
with first violin—
the conductor’s fingers
dart and leap, a bird
making music from the air

hip-hop booms
along the lower concourse
this feeling
that ancient hordes
are at the gates of Rome

in a red rattler
my mother pointed out
the new opera house site—
all those years ago
when Sydney was ordinary

© Julie Thorndyke

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