Shimmering in Sydney Park – Ramon Loyola

not creaking, corrugating,
the towering chimneys
lord it over highways and
byways, roundabouts and
kerbside vehicular delights
as the green shimmers in
chlorophyll-infused spring.

windswept and soiled,
ominous on wet ground,
a sign, ‘No to WestConnex’,
flaps like remorse, regret.

the dirt path to the oval
slopes then evens out in
the middle and meets the
frictious violence of the
bicycle wheels on soft earth.

strips of bush clamber up
into islets, canopying trees
and corralling the perimeter
of man-made marshes
replete with mossy rocks
and pebbles shiny in the sun.

the small patch in the bustle
of St Peters and Newtown
procures the brutal texture
of brick, stone, clay, iron.

with government machines
carving its face, its blisters
linger, as we forget the spell
of grass moistened by the sun,
gold quivering in memory—
of First Fleeter Elizabeth
Needham, of men named
Blaxland who bricked, stewed,
in kilns from the raw earth—
the urgent bellows of cyclists,
the angry horns of buses, trucks,
the voices resisting the claws
of pseudo-progress, ignite hope.

perhaps there is hope, I resolve,
as I warm to child-play shrieks
coming from the big playground,
and revel at the sight of ducks
swimming languidly in the creek,
the mother leading the raft to the
safety of still waters under the
groaning wood-planked bridge.

what’s left of it seems enough
to nourish the memory, to sigh
a prodigious throwback to
the cruelty of place and time,
disintegrating in history like
the old waste churner of stories.

not crumbling, oxidizing, old.
but still golden in sun’s memory.