Watching Golgotha

Barbed wire lies coiled red with rust,

A discarded thorn-crown

at the foot of three silos,

flaked-white and solitary,

hammered into the scarred

red flesh of a new-ploughed field.

Hung with the shadow

of a eucalyptus tree,

they are a memory crystallised

out of the boiling cold sky;

out of a skull-shaped hill;

Out of a sullen afternoon at Golgotha.


I stand – I – Pilate watching;

Judas kissing;

Mary weeping her tears on to succulent-wet

blades of grass below the shadow,

beneath the central tower.
I stand – I – Pilate remembering:

my ghosts walking.

Gethsemene, a solarized memory,

gives up its spirits

to a eucalyptus wood.

A crow clenches tight to a branch,

shivering its helpless outrage

at this damp afternoon, redolent of Calvary,

and a distant line of trees

creeps down the skull-shaped hill,

a subdued and satisfied procession homeward.

And through the tangle of barbed wire

they leave behind them,

thrusts a single yellow cornflower.

At the foot of the central tower.


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