Observatory Hill


Observatory Hill, atop the crest
of Sydney Harbor – guarded
by phalanx of great-aged,
magnanimous fig trees – like a nest

for visionary eagles – keeps a lens
trained on stars down
under (twinkling diamond
octahedron, Southern Cross).

Yet here, in a nearby yard, one pine
soars higher than those figs,
flings moth-wide wings –
lime branches drooping like a pinecone

honeycomb – leans into evening
at acute angle (a golden
mean).  Jack’s cheekbones
were so sharp – as that pining

Rail-splitter’s, in the cracked-plate
portrait – like the pyx
flung aloft by priest
or angler’s scale-scorèd blade –

the vertical taproot must plunge deep.
Against sandstorm &
flood, the blistering worm,
a maze of chains... rusted keep

of treason’s rigor mortis – fatal
spire of PX’ed Magdalen.
Where buffalo pern
to droughtland hollow (fetal, natal).


The "cracked-plate portrait", by Alexander Gardner 

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