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Michele Leggott  

All Together Now: A Digital Bridge for Auckland and Sydney             


many hands

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day four


in 1836 Charles Darwin
lying on a sunny bank at Bathurst
sees a platypus with a rubbery bill
unlike those of the dried specimens
he is familiar with    the country is open
and rolling    the ants just as they are
at home on the other side of the world
falling into the ant-lion’s conical trap
young Darwin has a moment of clarity
on the riverbank    there are two Creators
or One who nodded between labours
the platypus ducks and dives
in the water    a living non-sequitur 
they shoot it to get a closer look

we ramble up Wentworth Street
along Inconstant and back
through the Catholic Precinct
Pam explains how ghostly Sisters
walked the verandas of their retreat
and had to be persuaded to leave
there are tremors in the room
each night    nothing to worry about
the old house remembers its guests       
a currawong does that shrill thing
into pink air    two kookaburras laugh
their heads off in the back garden
and there’s a supply of tennis balls
for keeping off the cockatoos
the Brown Overarm the Zemiro Zap

at Govett’s Leap we can hear
the waterfall and see the sulphur crests
floating over the trees below
at Leura there’s an amphitheatre
of stone    an amphitheatre of soft light
on stone    an amphitheatre
soft sound of light on stone    a hillside
for jumping off    an opera for stars
in Katoomba we go to the Three Sisters
who may have been seven
if they are then we’re here
looking up looking to the northeast
waiting for those tea lights to look down
and remember their breathing time

my friend you walk with me
up and down the stone steps
we are slow but we are here
late light on the cliffs    cold where
we stand at the edge looking over
behind us the sun going down
and the old rocks holding us up

on the news they’re still talking
and the numbers haven’t changed
73  72  4  1    the ungoverned
go about their business and fly
the skull and crossbones to mark
a line in the sand no prestidigitator
was expecting when the electorate
hung all of them out to dry

trains in the mountain passes
calling    rattling the window frames   



©Michele Leggott