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

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

Lion and the Lamb


liable to bang inharmoniously
on dusty piano keys,
sing a loud operetta, tie
a ribbon in my hair, tell
a lie, steal a flower, or a
lion from the zoo

catch a ferry
to the quay, munch oysters
and roar in concert with that
toothless, rangy old cat as
we lie on the rocks at Mrs
Macquarie’s Chair, and watch
the sun cast his afternoon salutations
over our golden pelts, and we
wave like royalty to passing

and cast
our crowns
into their wake

© Julie Thorndyke