Tag Archives: Queensland

Have you ever been alone in a crowded room? – Jack’s Mannequin (Dark Blue)

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The House of Four-X

Something over ten thousand
Beer bottles went to build
A house, once, in Queensland.

Something over ten thousand
Mullions of glitter and gloom
Fixed and cemented

And every one of them drained
As a point of honour
By the solitary owner.

Picture, in midsummer shade,
The static yet ripple-cool sheen
Of ten thousand leadlights.

Picture, when lamps burned inside,
A shadowy, manifold bee
In his shrine of light-cells,

Vast, torpid and festive at once
Singing Christmas jinks and hooray!
In the heart of Queensland,

So that when he went courting at last
And brought home a bride for his house
(Picture that darkly)

There must have been almost excess
Even for those tropic parts
Of fullness, of wholeness,

Pharaoh and Israel at sport,
Bricks heaped to dry in the sun,
Straw by the paddockful.

And I hope it survives yet, their priesthood,
It would be drear loss to us all,
Not only Queensland,

Considering chill glass houses now
Which bewilder many
And have nourished no one,

If jealous time and the world
Had shattered those honeydew grilles
And the wind grown jagged,

And there were no strong sons to shout
Through sleepouts of radiance and chink,
Bearing high dozens.

LES MURRAY

http://www.lesmurray.org/uncollected_twc.htm#rttw