Poetry: The Book of my Enemy — The Ferry Token | clivejames.com
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The Ferry Token

Not gold but some base alloy, it stays good
For one trip though the currency inflates —
Hard like the ferry’s deck of seasoned wood,
The only coin in town that never dates.

Don Juan, as described by Baudelaire,
Before he crossed the Styx to the grim side
Paid Charon son obole, his ferry fare.
Was it this very token, worth one ride?

Of course it wasn’t. This poor thing will buy
The traveller no myth beyond the dark
Leonine Pinchgut with one beady eye
Fixed on the brilliant, beckoning Luna Park.

At most it takes you back to Billy Blue
Whose ferry linked the Quay to the North Shore
Somewhere about the year of Waterloo —
And probably more after than before.

There’s been so little time for grand events.
One ferry sank, but saying those who drowned
Contributed to our historic sense
Would be obscene and logically unsound.

Nevertheless nostalgia impregnates
This weightless disc as sunlight bleaches wood.
Our past is shallow but it scintillates —
Not gold but some base alloy, it stays good.