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  ~  20/20 Vision  ~ A Fu , Wikipedia tells us, is an early Chinese poetic form in which a place, an object, a feeling or some other subject is described in exhaustive detail and from as many angles as possible. For the translator Burton Watson, the Fu ❝consists of a combination of prose and rhymed verse, prose serving for the introduction that explains the genesis of the piece, as well as for occasional interludes, with verse taking over in the more rhapsodic and emotionally charged passages...❞ bon chance! 13 panels

text version ~ 9 pages
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Well here I am, Tuesday 07:00 in St Vincent's padded chair, one eye dilated one eye done and waiting for the call, and when the suave young surgeon reappears he's sorry but the microscope's burnt out, they've called the rep and ops are off today: come back on Monday, early. A week till Xmas: we re-book trains, re-book our pied-a-terre ~ which offers this online hook: Win back your stay: Tell us your best memory of Sydney?
[ max. 200 words ]
I take the bait but cannot hope to win ~ my list's become a retrospective flood an anthem ~ this Port Jackson Fu 賦  

❝ Look well at the Pacific before you die. The best of the promised paradises have neither its hues nor its splendour.❞ Etel Adnan SEA and FOG

❝ Description is my anchor. The sight of the sun is my security.❞ Anna Couani   The Harbour Breathes  

Anthem Variorum 賦 v.2      

 
Oysters Messiaen filling the Concert Hall with wave on wave upon wave of timpani and brass dusk on the afterdeck facing east freshening nor'easter catspaws... heeling ketch... memory tides train rumbling on the Bridge the rumble down from the girders to the dinghy in the girders' shadow close-hauled bailing threading east who says 'steam gives way to sail' ? 1958 Walsh Bay in the Bridge’s morning shadow we farewell City ~ bound for Bundanoon fivestar sunset luxury     ~     Pier One Hotel 2008
 
Pier One Walsh Bay S.S. Hongkong Surety out of Hoboken and Oakland two familiar tea chests swinging down Foodstuffs? any Medicines? nope any Books? here’s a list Portrait of An Artist - he’s no good with 26 Horses ~ he’s ok any Magazines? eye to gimlet eye nope Off y'go Mr Natural ~ Angelfood McSpade ~ we're home! midnight City holds its breath inner harbour foghorn chorus hoots and toots this NewYear in canines howl 1969 who's this can't spell Sidney Sidney? Sidney Goldfarb ~ BA Harvard hits the road winds up on 'Frisco Bay eye to gimlet eye take Sid with yer off y'go midnight City holds its breath inner harbour foghorn chorus hoots and toots this NewYear in canines howl 1969
 

Pier Four no White Bay’s concrete plain flour job No.1 hold in yr own time get it in and go home Snails Bay dolphins timber job midday transfer launch sparkling— through the shadow and three bays east the Finger Wharf and look— down the gangway off the Mariposa come the Hari Krishna ~ not your songbook comrades Bellowing supervisors pannikin bosses called [long o] pannos The Hurricane Lantern he's not too bright his son The Wick The Mass Murderer Aub—three DUIs and two pedestrians Brown Sugar 1970 ~

Pier Four no White Bay’s concrete plain flour job No.1 hold in yr own time get it in and go home hatchman's newchum welcome E wouldnt know if you were up'im dumbstruck— port winch to the rescue It'd be true mate if it was you mate Snails Bay dolphins timber job midday transfer launch sparkling— through the shadow and three bays east the Finger Wharf and look— down the gangway off the Mariposa come the Hari Krishna ~ not your songbook comrades Bellowing supervisors pannikin bosses called [long o] pannos The Hurricane Lantern he's not too bright his son The Wick The Mass Murderer Aub—three DUIs and two pedestrians The Pantyhose 1970 ~ baling hook courtesy Australian National Maritime Museum

 
Spindrift Saturdays hoist the Squadron burgee to the peak now take a turn around that stay and pull down— hard now take a turn around that turn and see— they cross pull down to make it fast— done— the lad’s learned the locking knot Spindrift Huon Pine two men to lift the pole and lock it on haul aft on the sheet and guy and pop the kite Gretel’s cut-down hand-me-down postmortems in the bar bare feet and beer on the Squadron’s blue shag pile sealegs last all night 1962
 
Flying Angel George Street North The Coroner The Sun'll want this bloody story deadline 2pm morning tea by Dr Oettle’s gentle invitation below the Bridge’s echo in the Morgue [“The Act Of Seeing With One’s Own Eyes”] turn guts to text tone it down for Granny get it in and go home 1963 Ship Inn midday schooner pegleg seagull wants my chips

Granny   The Sydney Morning Herald 1901 Henry Lawson  Prose  ii 125: ❝Even some London Conservative dailies   come wonderfully refreshing to me after   The Sydney Morning Herald   ('Grannie').❞ A Dictionary of Australian     Colloquialisms     G. A. Wilkes   1978    

 
Sitting on the dock waiting for a freighter home dock strike up in Portland running out of cash waiting for a call at Local 6 East Bay longshore pickup gang we're Harry Bridges' mob dockside snafu timbers all askew Huey's lost the plot Huey inhales— Man you bin in the Navy man I seen you threw a Matthew Walker round that block [careful with the argot don’t say yacht] Nah man sailboats 'sa locking knot 1969

I didn’t read the newspapers yesterday Sometimes I try When I sit in the hiring hall Waiting for my number to fall dead off the board Then I really read the newspapers It wouldn’t do to bring an anthology of Russian poetry Into the hiring hall of Local 6 Of the so-called “International” Longshoremen and Warehousemen’s Union So I read the San Francisco Chronicle Down to the quick of the want ads It is very quiet there Among the ambulance drivers and sellers of human hair And I imagine myself relocating in Southeast Asia As a transportation engineer No experience needed...   Sidney Goldfarb   1965   from Poem to Andrei Voznesensky

 
MV MyEnid out of Mosman Bay [home of the Bumblebees] skipper Cap'n Smith (retd.) retired from piloting the Torres Strait at night no lights grizzled cheek horizon eyes we're bound for Broken Bay for Spencer Wiseman's Woolloomoorang Freeman's Reach Keep to the high bank or you'll have us aground two apprentice helmsmen a dad and mullagatawny soup eh mullagatawny soup His mullagatawny soup 1952 ~
courtesy Mosman Municipal Library
albatross tarinnaheads east following our dawn service to The Heads charred MyEnid out of Mosman Bay hove-to in the swell two lads a father and Commander K, R.N. ashes to the wind saltwater deep Farewell, MyEnid's skipper 1957
 
Chowder Bay 1941 ~ Sunderlands in C-major Catalinas F-sharp soar right to left across my memories panorama to The Gap barefoot down the steps slim magnolia buds beyond my reach steep serried crimson tigerlily terrace unloved persimmon barren Snow Queen peach slip prickly pear creaking bamboo stand itchy toes down down down all fiftytwo Morella Road ~ quick over the melting tar behind the Moreton Bay behind the pub the squishing figs New Year's dragon spluttering in the park and on the sand soft bellygrunting wharfies picnic tug 'o' war and archived— The Colonial Sugar Refining Company Limited parasols and boaters and [perchance] grandfather Harry... there! in spats their outing done assembled for the photograph and the ferry home from Chowder Bay scatter my ashes in Chowder Bay
on Saturday March 7 1959 I take the ferry and the bush track home to Chowder Bay Morella Road to gather up belongings for my exile at born-to-rule St Paul's lectures commence Monday unannounced and unwelcomed I skirt their sotto voce vortex and from the safe haven of my room retrieve my belongings and depart unknowing she'll get the furniture he's off to live in sin not ever to set foot again in barefoot paradise no dog no dinghy unforgiven anthems lead to this
 

Envoi ~ The dolphins still stand in line off Long Nose Point: the timber— archipelago meranti— all but logged out now; the freighters, dismembered on a beach in Gujarat. On George Street North, the gold-leaf public entrance to the Coroner’s Court is locked. The rear stone steps look down two flights to a square of dead blank ground... the Morgue. Departing souls buy UggBoots in the Courtroom proper, and next door at The Angel, they tuck in to Thai before they join the rattle and hum of wardrobes on little plastic wheels rolling up to board a mega-deck Pacific Odyssey. The barracks on the northern shore of Chowder Bay— now that the ministry for flogging off the foreshore's had its way— is yet another restaurant with a view. [History’s prescient: the barracks once had tea rooms stencilled on the roof, subterfuge to fool the Japanese.] And at this restaurant with its view across the channels to its twin at Watson's Bay, I understand they serve, with their cafecitos and espressos, a “Colonial Brown Sugar ~ The Taste of Yesterday”— neither coarse nor unrefined.

Envoi    
             ❝ I grew up at Jung-yang;
              I was still young when I left.
On and on,—forty years passed
Till again I stayed for the night at Jung-yang.
When I went away, I was only eleven or twelve;
This year I am turned fifty-six.
Yet thinking back to the times of my childish games,
Whole and undimmed, still they rise before me.
The old houses have all disappeared.
Down in the village none of my people are left.
It is not only that streets and buildings have changed;
But steep is level and level changed to steep!
Alone and unchanged, the waters of Ch'iu and Yu
Passionless,—flow in their old course.

白居易   Po Chü-I       T'ang dynasty One Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems     translated by Arthur Waley                          

 
 
solstice 08:00 leave the wharf the diver poised on the gunwale of the launch brass helmet spanner'd tight lead boots eddy in the tide leave the dinghy beneath the jetty gently rocking Gurugal, Gurrugal barefooted over the pocked sandstone past the basking seal out to the southmost point Gurugal, Gurrugal Koreé, Koree not a ripple the midden
We can, of course, bear in mind psychoanalytical methods for determining the personality of a poet, and thus find a measure of the pressures—but above all of the oppressions —to which a poet has been subjected in the course of a life. But the poetic act itself, the sudden image, the flare-up of being in the imagination, these are inaccessible to such investigations...

Gaston Bachelard
The Poetics of Space

Drifting It seems like drifting slowly out to sea, those on the shore becoming indistinct, no longer recognisable. There is a soft ticking perhaps wavelets against the hull. A kind breeze disturbs the hair on the skin. Memories float past in no particular order, all the loving faces smiling quietly, a long way off. Everything seems blue. So blue. vale   D.J. Dowsett

'sealegs'

'bound for Broken Bay'