Dunedin

Modernity, nervously
grip the sooty edifice with steel arms
and glass outfits. Straddle
wind-rattled closes and bridges
crossing underworlds, the tangled limbs
of wild lovers exchanging
smoky kisses as they writhe, writhe
in stony bliss upon the heath.

Street becomes river beneath the downpour,
regular visitor, always startling.
Weary slabs seem sunken to unseen depths,
cobbles in stubborn formation among
these old drainpipes, gargling black serpents
climbing the coarseness like iron vines.

Night: your field of lights collected
waver as if still only candles, caught
inside sojourning droplets wishing
to wait out that sullen half-dawn—uncertainly
dim, eternally grey,
still like your hilly perches, yet
ever-moving as the chill
cutting through them.

A thousand tongues tell
new travellers the tale
of the city of stone, stories
set in forgotten wynds
and on sleepy old back roads—hazy,
blurred by drink, coloured by every scent.
Resident ghosts whisper of pasts
kept among the rugged pages of sandstone
volumes in the library maintained
by every wry smile, each weather-wrought thought.

We move, we sleep
in the myriad around
proud crags, earthy throne
watching over, peeking around
this corner and that.
We come and go, near and far
and now back again, knowing
what but not why. All the same,
here we are, home.