Ballast Point – Kate Waterhouse

Ballast Point is a gritted tongue
lapping the harbour
its cheek a silhouette of storage tank
its jaw cut, hinged in sandstone
this morning undisturbed by the breath
of any animal but small dogs, a walk
up from the dry dock in Mort bay.
Two tugs move up on a tanker hung in the river
their engines the pulse of old Sydney
holding on here in broken down walls of factories.
There’s award-winning landscaping
but no marsupial tracks where
old Eora stood, where
Eora fires burned at night
a vantage point before it was
a store for fuel or deep water anchor
now with priceless views of the ferry park
Colgate apartments, city skyline, bridge, Goat Island
Ball’s Head and Woolwich dock cradling the bellies
of ships – the name given this place, the stone
to keep them righted.
History slides in on this spring light –
Slessor’s verticals lead us to the unvoiced
but property transacts well here
the gas stores are picnic areas now
Les Murray has blessed this place
his dingo hollow like the tank it circles
the grass won’t take
on New Year’s Eve people push the trees over
to get a better view of the fireworks.