Elly McDonald


Byzantium (1983)


A neon script emblazoned on the skyline

And the bassline from the car radio


Throbbing like the tremor of a long-bow string

After the arrow is loosed.

God is starry-eyed in the heavens

Tonight, and the streets down here are paved with gold

Light gilded – a Byzantine mosaic

Our city, bejewelled, wears a halo.

Driving through the night (through a pageant)

We are silent

We are blessed

We are wonders in a world

Of precious detail-work, of graven

Images: richly-inlaid mysteries

From the radio the bass emanates and


A textured mantle, dark

And warm as blood

Author: Elly McDonald

Australian-born, with English mother, has lived in several Australian cities and in London. Travelled widely. Way way back when, published widely as a poet and short story writer.

2 thoughts on “Byzantium (1983)

  1. I like Byzantium very much Elly. Thanks you for sharing it with me. Ian

    Ian G. Weeks Sent from my iPad


    • Oooh Ian, are ALL the poems I’ve just posted coming up? On Facebook? There’re selected poems from 30+ years ago! But thank you


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