St. George's Hall

The cenotaph mourns the fallen dead who sleep in perfect bas-relief.
The young men who died in the wars look down in silent disbelief.
The stone lions lay sphinx-like, guarding the city’s colonial past.
The Odessa steps lead up to the great hall, open to the public at last.

The Parthenon pillars stand, upholding the building and the status quo.
The people are allowed a glimpse of the wealth most will never know.
The Law Courts where the Judges condemned the paupers to live or die.
The cotton merchants danced in marble halls and never did ask ‘Why?’

The equestrian Queen and her consort cavort unseen when darkness falls.
The Generals and the politicians rally the troops whenever duty calls.
The candlelight vigil held on the plateau for the city’s favourite son.
The one who sang about peace and love that died by an assassin’s gun.

The film crews re-create the century for the gentry and the meritocracy.
The actors mingle with the extras in a local parody of real democracy.
The flag of Saint George is raised and flies proudly in the April rains.
The Dragon Lady has been slain but her bitter legacy still remains.

The patriot game is played again and again as the nation unites in grief.
The seasons come and go as Mother Nature spins her recurring leitmotif.
The gardens behind the hall where the birds try to turn over a new leaf. The bronze angels keep watch as the homeless sleep in twisted bas-relief.

By Brian O'Connell