Paul Williamson: Two Poems

Iron Family


On the early eastern growth corridor

between the city and logging in the ranges

Bayswater Park boasts a sandstone bubbler base

with a brass plaque to the crowning of a young queen. Nearby a metal goanna lies on a rock

and concrete hippopotamuses swim

in a pool of ground-down rubber tyres

while children play in a wood and rope jungle-gym.


Slender eucalypts stretch above

the corrugated iron shelter

that shades the retired steam engine

now a sturdy climbing frame

chipped and painted black and red

to shining protection. Instrument gaps are sealed

with metal covers. Round-capped rivets

grip the lesser joins. Heavy bolts bond plates.


I knock my knuckle on the coal tender

and sense the solid wall. I have not met

you before but I have travelled with your cousins

the iron ships, around our coasts and to the pack ice.

There is a family resemblance.


Paul Williamson

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