Hard As Rock

Hard as rock, I hide where you hide,
behind the abdication of Fontainebleau:
every boy an emperor! The rain remembers
as you do. Treading gutters home
to malodorous castles in forests of afternoon,
we spent ourselves shouting like Napoleon.
We were granted the principality of islands
hard as rock. We had worn a continent down.

The day was crazed, as if it had dismounted
from its only eminence to stand beside
an ordinary horse. How many of us forage
as we ravage greenslopes for unavailable courage?
Hidden with you behind my bedrock eyes,
I watch bystanders for possible enemies
as all little majors who are emperors do,
and ride helter-skelter after spectres of Fontainebleau.

* Published in The Australian 2002.