A row of seven
late-Victorian terrace houses.
I look for you in everything that’s wonderful.
I see symmetry focused
on the cornice of  the central house
and at each end shops like castles.

I see you in a gown of silver grey,
your shoulders vulnerable as wings.

The facade curves to a major road
and a lane I’ve crossed so many times
and never noticed how the shadows fall
from balconies and  wrought-iron rusts,
submissive in the sun.

Traffic slides in routine.
Café diners sip their coffee.
They do not feel your eyes
among the mirrors nor watch you
lift your hair to tie it
nor mark the sadness in your face
as we say goodbye.

I see you naked and in chains

I walk towards you.
My memory claims you,
beautiful, intense,
and holds you like a prisoner
inside a tower,
as if bewildered
by a fantasy
fading into real.

John Egan is a Sydney poet who also lives on the South Coast of NSW. He teaches English for Academic Purposes at Sydney's Uniworld College and has also been published in the US and New Zealand. His book "Not the Rain, the Wind" is published by
the Malbourne Poets Union

Dangar Terrace is a beautiful, though outwardly dilapidated, row of terrace houses with a common facade, in Chippendale, an inner city suburb of Sydney.The narrator is walking towards it, yet again, to meet his lover, who works in one of the inwardly restored houses, now an office.

The poem attempts to show the conflict between dull external reality and the rich inner fantasy that has turned his lover into a kind of mythic princess, imprisoned in a tower and, I suppose the heroic knight attempting to rescue her. The poem is both descriptive and, I hope, erotic, definitely a love poem. Its also very true on a number of levels.



Copyright 2009