Friday, April 16, 2010

New Poetry by Benjamin Dodds

Archibald’s Fountain
After the washout,
we were so wet it was stupid.
We didn’t even get an overture
before dawdling out
into the darkening evening
with the rest of the cackling crowd.
Three or four islands of friends sat hopefully 
on the drenched Domain lawn,
quietly fooling themselves.
If ever there was an event
to be cancelled for rain,
this was it.
I smiled at new families and old friends,
all out for a night of free arias in the open air,
all soaked to the bone now.
But nobody ran.
You can’t get wetter than drenched.
It was Sydney in summer
and no-one was cold.

As we crossed the road back into the park,
I conjured an image:
a silently packed Opera House theatre,
the audience wearing their best
as the roof hinges open 
and the rain comes down.
Corporate-sponsored programmes
curl around hands like wilting posies.
That night we swam 
in the fountain
in the park
with the Greek gods 
and a goddess
and a bronze turtle.
Today I dug up a photo;
I’m wearing a white plastic sheet,
Jesus sandals 
and the dripping rictus of a smile.
I think it’s Theseus
whose bronze scrotum
I cup in my hand.

I only remember this night 
and this photo 
because of Alison Clark 
and her poem 
about these same sculpted figures.
She has dusted off this stupid image
of my wet and juvenile self.

- Benjamin Dodds 2010

For more info on Benjamin simply click the post heading.

1 comment:

Ayesha + Howard said...

Love it! I have a very clear image of you standing in the fountain. I only wish I could have been there...