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At The Broinowski gate

A busload of adolescents and bureaucrats trade frisbees

dispelling the parterre’s formality.  The design emerges

only when they leave: determined bights

for the older varieties, and then, in longer tines,

some climbers and the flash of floribunda.

A tennis court behind its arbours.


An autumnal gust turns the light adamantine.

The afternoon’s corners curl like an old photograph’s.

For a moment, it’s 1931: a million minds are summoned

to great squares, throngs approach history’s ramparts


but that “thin, querulous fellow” sees,

laid out in the paddocks’ blank hansards,

spread before the hills’ dusty asperities

a hedged, a decorous passion:

procedures laid out,

protocols bedded down

etiquette clasped in green sepals

the carmine calyx unfolding

at a subscribed nation’s heart.

Commended - ACT Poetry Prize 2009

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