Saturday, October 28, 2017



That little nymph statue laced with web
holds indented prints of the sculptor’s thumbs
when he formed her flesh and curved her thighs
and smoothed her breasts with strength and love
and tenderness to place her proud at the
Governor's wharf. And now in shoulder curve
and tilt of head a spider drapes a lucky web.

A board decision cast a cement plinth
to fix this lithe ephemeral nymph
who watches unblinking those cruises arrive
they come and they leave in the bay of her eye
now filled with us and our fiddly lives

being shunted along through gardens and lawns
vacuumed, filleted, stamped and endorsed
by imprimatur of reign and rule
our route defined by steam cleaned walls
and paths and if you wander beyond
you'd be flung like a sinner into
the water or flogged like a felon,
a sculptor perhaps, on that old triangle
of truth and justice and clemency
this our U3A convener warns
mischievously on this smiling morn

where the warmth of the sun albeit strong
on those lissom limbs can raise but motes
and memory of sculpted nymph
 and sculptor
his firm and loving thumbs forming her into
perpetual life both model and sculptor
conjoined each day in viewers' eyes
like ours where art will jostle with fiddly lives

and we, replete with our sunhats, cameras
concerns and knee-jerk 'NO', just cannot affirm
this moment thumping with Life and YES
before it passes and the nymph oh the nymph
she understands well and would comfort
with welcome limbs and whispers

but snared she is by silk of spider and
muted tongue, and snared by atrophy
of circumstance and cautionary twirl
of his final thumbprint with its solemn
imprint forbidding her flesh and will
to move as it would but to cast instead
caution as currency into her form.
Yes, oh yes she would whisper softly
into his ear... as she did.

Adapted from a prose poem by Neva Kastelic.
The beautiful statue is at the head of the Governor General's landing in Yarralumla, Canberra. 

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