(“we know not the builder nor his son” W H Auden)
The governor’s bath house is not there;
a few cubes of stone
stand still, the rest crated and carted
by command to a new project. A tour guide
slips me a story about governors – Bligh,
Brisbane, Macquarie, Darling – I can walk
their streets, drink in their bars, but see
instead the mason’s initials chiseled neat
on the stone face.
At the Hero of Waterloo
rub a finger over a shamrock, a careful
“TM” cut below – the sandstone yielding
to the tool as a lover to an embrace;
graffito of a craftsman transported,
repossessing his self in shameless lavish
of his time.
Take the black candlestick
in the museum – convict’s section – mere
turnings, shards of metal wrought, twisted
compelled to become something degraded
scrap had no right to be – a carrier of light.
The governor’s bath house is not there.