Which produced more civilizations,
yellow grass or green?
Who made poverty legal?
Who made poverty at all?
Eating a cold pork sandwich
out of greaseproof paper
as I cross to Circular Quay
looking down the last Harbour miles
the world-ships furrowed, bringing poverty,
dates this day to my midlife.
Out of the approaching then city
rise towers of two main kinds:
glass ones keyed high to catch money
and brown steeples to forgive the poor
who made poverty illegal,
and the first Jumbo jets descend
like Mates whose names you won’t recall,
going down behind the city.
This midlife white timber ferry
scatters curly Bohemian glass
one molecule thick, afloat on a
green dark of laws before poverty
and I hold aloft my greaseproof rose
for hand-to-mouth, great hoister of sails.