Hyde Park Memorial

Hyde Park Memorial

24-7 surveillance round this ziggurat
topped with despondent stone soldiers,
token nurse, bronze battle frieze
quite Oxford Street in its Rambo
muscularity of rippling abs & arms
stoking artillery, lobbing grenades.

No lovers cooing on the Aztec steps
by order Anzac Memorial (Building)
Act 1923, it’s all four by three
makes seven steps to warrior heaven
with sly ornaments of crucifixions
in every nook. Then down you look

on Hoff’s bronze Sacrifice (‘Let silent
contemplation be your offering’) lying
spreadeagled naked on shield & sword
warrior throat & penis open to castrating
gaze all held up by that useful trinity
fearful men project: woman as wife,
mother & maiden, half-naked, baby
at the voluptuous breast, sandwiched
angel-wise between marble mirrors
of star-flecked domes. Chattering
Asian camera clickers haven’t read
the hush signs. A helpless young mother
lies to her pram: ‘this is to remember
all the people who died in war.’

You freeze, helpless before this loud
proud myth of humble sacrifice cast
in marble, metal, cement untouched
by gull shit, car fumes, any enduring
corrosions of bitter truth. Outside,
the Emden’s captured cannon
points up the arse of Oxford Street
& unsung civilians turn in their graves.

[written last year, first published in my chapbook Collidoscope, Mark Time Books 2011, ISBN 978-0-646-55537-9]


~ by Peter Lach-Newinsky on September 10, 2011.

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