From my vantage point
on the pinnacle of a hill
behold a bustling suburb
a fortress in the fold of the valley
emerging from the menacing depths of the
A profusion of brand new, pink-bricked dwellings
clusters like fig inflorescences
with landscaped, monocultural gardens
glowing in the half-baked sunlight.
Expanses of emerald kikuyu
colonise the bare foothills
the barbed wire fence
whilst a disorientated river, burdened by silt, weaves past.
the teeming rainforest is pulverised by bulldozers
the raucous chorus of chainsaws
smothers the tinkling
as weeping gashes in the scarlet clay deepen
reddening the river as the settlers move in.
Silent streams of gleaming city cars
glide through the gates.
seeking solace from the chaos of the concrete jungle
in the comforting confines of conformity.
estranged in their efforts to maintain seclusion
acknowledging fellow inmates with icy stares
lives transfixed by the exterior world
the city soapies, the fairy floss clouds and the tinted river.
From this steep eroding precipice
I weep bitter tears
us and them.
looking back to my bare hands.
NB: fig inflorescences are encased in a spherical rind-
what appears to be the fruit is actually the flower. Also, in Australia, figs are jungle trees, especially the Strangler Fig.
is shrouded in afternoon shadow.
A shaft of eerie sunlight
a glaring molten monolith of glass
illuminating the twisted bough of a fig tree
soldered into the grimy
brickwork of a crumbling woolstore
-the cavernous haunt of smog-smudged pigeons-
excreta encrusting the
cauterising the margins and delicate copper shoots
to leave it stunted, unable to reach
the open sky.
The windows murmur in an icy breeze
man and his shopping bags
crouch in a marble doorway
amongst a drift of litter, blown in by stinging wind
Aromas linger: steaming onions,
mingled with the pungeance of the underground railways.
commuters in step with eachother
remain in self-absorbed apathy
oblivious of the tortuous struggle
life on the edge.
Who is liberated in this chasm of frustration?
boundaries are inpenetrable.
The tree's sinuous and mangled roots will continue groping the air
from the motherly clay
by swathes of concrete, seven floors below.
day the truth will be revealed
after the roar of the last bus
and a lull in the whining of sirens.
will echo in the subways,
leaves will unfurl
and the street will dissolve into the night.