The Hypogeum by Les A. Murray

Below the moveable gardens of this shopping centre

down concrete ways

to a level of rainwater

a black lake glimmering among piers, electric lighted,

windless, no depth.

Rare shafts of daylight

waver at their base. As the water is shaken, the few

cars parked down here seem to rock. In everything

there strains that silent crash, that reverberation

which persists in concrete.

The cardboard carton

Lorenzo’s Natural Flavor Italian Meat Balls has foundered

into a wet ruin, Dutch Cleanser is propped at a high

featureless wall, Self-Raising Flour is still floating

and supermarket trolleys hang their inverse harps,

silver leaking from them.

What will help the informally religious

to endure peace? Surface water dripping into

this underworld makes now a musical blip,

now rings from nowhere.

Young people descending the ramp

pause at the water’s brink, banging their voices.



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