Press the play button above to start the Parracons Poetry Path – Loop 2! You can tap the broken square icon on the bottom right of the video and turn your screen on its side to get full screen video.

Or you can listen just to the audio narration by tapping the blue ‘Audio’ button on the bottom right below. Find out more about the history of this location by clicking on the title below.

St John’s Cemetery

 

St John’s Cemetery, Parramatta

They brought us here when I was still treading

the fairytale mind and the very ground

heaved alive with souls and decomposed fists

which would crest from grass to seize my ankles

by my schoolgirl-white socks. They made us look

at the names, for these bodies had once pushed

out the white frontiers. But the frightened child

thinks only of them pushing through frontiers

of death and wood and soil and roots and moss.

Her eyes slide over the lichen-chewed names,

her feet tread anxious, imagined edges

around caskets. Seeking the gate she trips –

a jutting bone! – no, it’s the mere gristle

of a protruding root. The pupils leave

in relief. But though those bodies have long

lost their colour to the unforgiving

earth which now spills inside through wooden cracks

which now burrows through dissolving pores

which now gnaws away the entrails to reach

the white bones; did the land reclaim those who

presumed to rob her? Or do these remains

still possess, desecrate her from within?

 By Jocelin Chan

 

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Macquarie Street Gatehouse: To continue to the next historic location on the Parracons Poetry Path, head north back up O’Connell Street, underneath the train tracks, until you reach Macquarie Street, and then turn left onto Macquarie Street. On the corner of Macquarie and Pitt Streets, safely cross the road to the entrance of Parramatta Park, and the Macquarie Street Gatehouse on the corner.