Nailing Pooranateré

A poem by Pete Hay

(On tenacious proposals to erect a cable car on The Mountain)


This mountain now. Assume it rich and slippery

of mood. Let it nudge the morning talk abroad.

Let it slip within the old town’s skirt.


From the steps of the House of Blah I see

a fret of green life reaching forward

from the upturned shield of rock and dirt.


The men of power are brought to earth

and this cannot be borne. The suits

grow a nervous twitch. Birth

and renewing birth threaten manly hubris.


Then hear the edict of the oddly wise.

This beloved thing of stars and snow and thunder

has to go. We will tread it under.

Clap it in irons. Put out its wildering eyes.



Image: Joseph Lycett, ‘Mount Wellington, near Hobart Town, Van Dieman’s Land’, c. 1825? (Tas. Archives).