Sandeep Kumar Mishra

MY CITY OF PARRAMATTA

My city enjoys a mugged face
Malls, skyscrapers, connect its vital limbs
The days eject a laborious force
As nights are stiffly precarious climbs
It has witnessed convict rebellion at Elizabeth Farm
And frequently rung Mr Johns’ mental alarm

Horns, siren, music, pollution, buzz and silence
Beat a million ear drums to compose dumb sounds,
Bourgeois heads grow at every empty place
Take the junta of humanity on its daily rounds
Experiment at Farm Cottage is not a mystery
Indian-style bungalow with a colonial history

These burghers never stop but wriggle a lead
Ten to five, incessant flinty work culture
There is light around, but scenery seems faded
Targeted, digging out life, a grave for nature
Here, George Street Gatehouse is an arc
At heritage site of Parramatta Park

Feeble morning walker or greasy evening wanderer
Mechanical late sleepers or impotent late risers
Sofa, carpet, TV, mobile and air conditioner
All are granite museums but no drowsy repose
Close to the station, is St John’s Cathedral
Former residents value it as universal 

Highways are the death ride way
I strive for a peaceful lee
Has the city ruined me in any way?
No, it has marred better men than me
Old Government House sits on Dharug lands
Built with bricks by convict hands

I stand alone amid a million crowd
God was silent when I was suffering fast
I am not ready to die ignored
I’ll build a new city before I breathe my last
Till then Sofa is mountain, Carpet is the sea
This is the city made for me

Sandeep Kumar Mishra lives near Parramatta.He has received IPR Annual Poetry Award-2020 and shortlisted for  “Joy Bale Boone Poetry Prize 2021” 

Parramatta Images by Mihaela Cristescu