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, 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
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.