Title: In Albert Park

Author: Peter Bland

In: Sport 7: Winter 1991

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, July 1991, Wellington

Part of: Sport

Keywords: Verse Literature

Conditions of use



    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Sport 7: Winter 1991

In Albert Park

page 148

In Albert Park

The Statue of Queen Victoria (with pout
and hooded lids) still sees
'a home away from home'. . . neat lawns,
a gravel path, English flowers,
and the one big gun—dreams of Dear Albert—
that continually threatens to overbalance
and topple into the town. 'Well worth
a brief visit,' the guide-book says,
with a warning re muggers and 'the growing threat
of sitting unshaded in our southern sun.'

Further advice hurries over a history
dependent on imported blood,
suggesting we 'take a short-cut down
to the business district' (a photo shows
a forty-foot Santa on Farmers store
winking like a dirty old man). For some
the park is 'a place apart' (note
the lovers and drunks) but for most
it's an open space to be crossed
without looking back—stopping

just long enough to scoff
a Big Mac or re-set one's watch
by the scented ticking of a marigold clock.
Meanwhile, in the pause between then and now
(as preserved in the bronze folds
of a dead Queen's dress)
a bellbird explores varieties of silence
and harbour-sounds drift cautiously inland
like echoes of old arrivals and departures
scattered in the new-mown grass.