mailbox

        mailbox

tucked in
by the hedge
a blackbird
on the green
mailbox
102
eyeing me
from the
empire
of his eye
eyeing me
with an
eye of night
opened
on the
day
.

morning, 1 july 2013
nelson st, howick

blackbird

no touch

          no touch

night on the estuary
a wind thumping home
the rain thumping waves
into the steeper low-tide
shore heard and not seen
you know the sadness
of ghosts along this
esplanade nothing fearful
no fear that that they
are with you in your
thoughts in the brush
of air through a still room
like a hand that
aches with gentleness
all you rightly fear of
ghosts is that no touch
of yours will ever
wake them into
your day

the pure sadness
is this alone
this night of
remembered
festivals

december 24, 2015
bucklands beach, tamaki estuary

that smile of yours

     that smile of yours

you weren’t
born yesterday
there are
some years
washed out
under that
bridge
you didn’t just
step out of the
celestial garden
naked
delicious
with dew
(look now,
i’ve undressed you
)
yet your smile
is newer than
the minute,
ahead
my every
leap of
heart
you
are
the
very
brilliance
that’s yet
to shine
hidden still
dark matter
they call it
between
the
stars
let it
blow
ain soph aur

24 may 2016
a wet morning road

Sadness

Sadness has many friends:

the dying falling leaf

a drunk’s shaking mind

the horse alone in a field.

Forgive my sadness,

forgive sadness itself:

it is the beast which patrols

our inner shadows –

and it feeds on itself

Francis blesses the fire

1

You appear as if a match

had been struck in the dark.

 

2

The fire stirs and the cave

is bathed in tenuous

 

light some god made

years ago. The prayer

 

invokes what can’t be said,

what I can’t say in flat

 

prose.

 

3

The cave is cut

into the shade

of rock high

above the Umbrian

plain.

 

4

There are 5 men, livid

like rock, over the flame.

 

5

One warms his stiff

hands; mutters his prayer.

 

6

What balls! to be

there, on your bare

 

bones; the meal rustled up from

dry scraps the wind left.

 

7

1 day I too might cave,

chuck it in, take my chances

in the woods, a friend to flowers

and the birds;

 

throw my last crust to the wind

and the birds.

 

7 March, 2016

GUM TREES

Two ladies travelling head first to a down town bar.
These two ladies, I call them gum trees.
They spoke in that casual tone, of common social deceit. “She did?”

Their flakey bark, tough and whispy, revealed layers they though were covered.

When these two gum trees lost their waxy leaves and bark
They got into everything.
We all knew these two trunks. Head first, leaving roots in every bar.

 

comings and goings

         comings and goings

first thought
full-tide
took days
to return
knew later
it was a
moon thing
could sneak up
on you that
same very
day again
later knew
you could set
your dreaming
by it let
yourself be carried
on the fullness
of it just a
matter of
hours
time after
lived an
inland
life
the sea
an out-of-date
calendar picture
seahorse
mounted in
the antique
shop

my grandfather
kicked it
an afternoon
the news like
a canvas pavillion
put up overnight
on the school grounds
wind flapping
at the flaps
inside the elephant
hypnotised and
hoisted up poised
on the clown’s
forefinger
no audience
just sparrows
ruffling feathers together
along the benches

such news
time by times
after
become
just a
coming
a going
of that
distant
unremarked
sea
a door
to the
wind’s
pavillion.

evening, 8 june, 2013
picton st., howick

quaint

    quaint

too often
i’ve seen myself
an aviator at the
edge of dawn
in a shot-through
tiger moth that
bit by bit has
fallen away
the swinging tail
struts and wire
come undone
along the wing
the wings themselves
the very fuselage
all broken away
gone and there’s only
a man up there holding
to a lever while sailing
through miles of the air
seated as if he’s still
in a plane
goggles pulled back
on his forehead
an aviator’s cap
like spaniel’s ears
sailing on through
the dawn afraid
to touch the
cockpit rim
lest he know
the fact of
the matter
the final crash
now just
a matter
of time.

june 11, 2012
panmuretiger moth

from Übermanis Geniac #2

7

Well, Jim, you’re dead, you know you are
the only one who’s left behind a myth
past the valour of his verse. A plinth
has been erected, above a sewer,
because poets translate muck back into water.

The myth holds you versified in youth;
I hated writing, couldn’t match my thought,
speech likewise, stutters, speedbumps, at speed,
and leaps surprising me, of brevity and depth,
a signal, I took, of concepts kept
on higher courts of consciousness—Strewth,

mate!, my Aussie drinking neighbours
would remark; keep it light
and breezy! I didn’t know I knew
until I spoke, that’s what got me started,
why I wrote drunk, to begin with, the easy
way I had with words

translated awfully on to paper,
spontaneity with abandonment, the
careful study of this in sobriety
plus extra time alone confirmed the poem
as epistle to the rightness of the creed.

 

 

 

from Übermanis Geniac

3

Two nights earlier, at home
in admiration of my gymness,
I had begun to labour on the colours
I was going to travel in;
blue-grey, acrylic-practical,
at first, but, finally, settled on turquoise
in heavy cotton hood, a silver zipper,
for the feeling of it: light and strong
beneath my eyes. The ring was a surprise,
through it now, so always is there
faint eroticism.
Kundalini idling. Or
driving with expired moral license,

key probable return to falling times.
Bring it on, I said, it’s entirely

unsustainable Enough I’m not committed
to my station; this is middle
age? It’s nothing! It’s a fable.
Am keeping the hair long, beard dyed
a few shades darker than my locks,
a faint sense of my own absurdity
growing in the ring…But never mind

that, it’s a journey, which now finds
me walking Miramar, a long pohutukawa
stretch in flower, bellbirds boggling the ears
with the beautiful cadences Electronica
has not been able to replicate
without a microphone. Returning down
the street where Nowhere met its end,
the fragrant spice of warm food in a bowl
expelled from me the comment to its savoury incantation,
to which the young woman lifted her lid
offering to my unknown fingers her contents
in the seconds we had before a car pulled up
and took her with the dish. The taste has stayed
far longer than the tiny morsel, a moment
of strangers in spontaneous human unity.

I could return home now, satisfied
that things are as they should be.

 

 

 

me and you at the park

I

We’re on the swing looking up at the sky

and the high trees and the white

clouds in the East that aspire

to be Mountains, in my mind.

You see the sickled moon in pale

daylight, like a spent light.

 

I’m looking for the spaces in between

the houses and the trees, the sky;

the pulse between two notes

of a bird-call. I see

 

the poet that lived here years ago,

walked these steps, saw the pale sky

and the low clouds in the east

that look like mountains.

 

We follow imaginary lines,

parallels like real numbers

in your mind; we want

nothing; to find the emptiness

unclaimed, attuned

to the unsubstantial

waves,

 

I’m afraid. I know where I am

tho for reals at the park

I’d say winding the path

that circumnavigates

the man-made globe;

and as I walk this day

Sunday the disconnected

dreams of the week disused

phantasms fall lightly

like silk,

 

across your fingertips.

 

II

My nerves are, ff…

frayed, I know

of a world beneath my toes

I don’t know, dead

to me, of bone the dog

might gnaw some lonesome

night.

The Boatman

Boatman seeks the horizon

as the little prow rides up

and the low sun spreads gold

over the rolling, tugging sea.

He is crouched on a little seat,

eyes fixed, guiding her out,

a sure boat of curved plank,

little diesel pulsing and puffing.

He stands sea legs apart

to fling a black circle,

and the sea spits as it lands

and falls before scattering eyes.

Sea swell, sea slap.

A man in a rolling boat.