'goddess we trample' by Annamaria Weldon | States of Poetry WA - Series Two

Archipelago, sleeping goddess whose body
we trample as tourists take selfies, bored lovers
seek mystery, stray dogs piss on temple stones.

Inside the sanctuary walls, torba floors endure
their bone-white ground broken as the silence
now deities are curios, gift shop souvenirs.

Asphodel and Sea-squill bloom in the corners of ruins
strewn like footnotes to remind us these shrines
are still alive. At dawn on the Solstice, an entry fee

is our only offering. Careless crowds block the portal
so the sun’s first beams can’t touch the holiest stone.
A child making a wild posy is chased by a man in uniform.

Annamaria Weldon

*torba is the Maltese word for hard plaster-like material made by the repeated pounding and wetting of several layers of Golbigerina limestone dust; it was usually spread over a rubble foundation for making temple and hut floors).

Annamaria Weldon

Annamaria Weldon

Annamaria Weldon’s writing residency with Symbiotica UWA prompted the poems, essays, and photographs of Yalgorup National Park in her last book, The Lake’s Apprentice (UWAP, 2014). She has just completed her third poetry collection, inspired by Malta’s Neolithic temple culture. She researched and wrote during several visits to her birth island, most recently as 2016 Writer in Residence at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta. Annamaria’s previous collections were The Roof Milkers (Sunline Press, 2008) and Ropes of Sand (Associated News Malta, 1984). Her poetry has been published in Australian literary journals, anthologised, broadcast on Radio National, and has been staged in several collaborative projects including contemporary dance and art installations. Her awards include the inaugural Nature Conservancy Australia Essay Prize, the Tom Collins Poetry Prize, and a shortlisting in the 2016 Peter Porter Poetry Prize.