I count the beads

on your string as your

lips form shapes which

give substance

to the emptiness of air,

& meaning. I go


on like this, hours,

fingering your pearls, feel

minutes drop, lose my

way & when you’re

still, it’s like

everything else is.


Immaculate Accuracy

Reversing out the drive, and looking back
upon the grass spreading along the spouting,
and the rust running in the pale yellow paint
like coffee in the cream, the raw spouting,
flashing; and feng shui awry around the yard:
another 12 months, and again I have put off
the jobs of house repair. I find it ‘sympatric’
the incompletion perceived about my goals
and I must hold up the genuine articles
about myself, and say: I am a good man––there,
there, is time to make a start, the weather
is on my side… But forward into Drive,
and off I go. With poems on the mend,
concepts to versify, sunlight on the dashboard,
breasts in good supply…Am not the captain
of my soul, entirely, like this. I approach,
from behind, an ‘unfinished’ daughter, with her
father. I’ve watched them grow, a part, together
as a whole, sharing something similar, and old.
I know, immediately, who they are, it’s in the walk
before I see them, front on, it is pleat-recursive,
has identical curvatures which dominate the Line;
dimple, dental, eye brows, jaw, a long skeleton,
defined so that Being is not Gender, specifically,
and the Mystery, somehow, chooses from the palette
what is needed for its urges. The salient, silent,
and seamless surgery of this! The knowing! The
immaculate accuracies of Now, tandem
a tomorrow brokered otherwise! And the men
I knew as boys, and have parented their features
through girls, exclusively, so odd to me their Feminine
is Male, yet to others only female in expression.
The awe of this, and I ponder, rather make a poem
start to know it than return the Hebe’s into lines
the fence won’t sweat it supporting alone, silicon
the spouting, a new down-pipe. Easy things,
handyman…But up the hill which overlooks the bay,
on the 40 minutes walk, past the chair bound
Rest Home occupants inside scaffolds decayed
and calcified, who cannot lift their arm to wave
back,—we’ve all watched Construction raise
the new facility; and further off, a large
thermometer painting, with red mercury
showing the fundraising chase of the target,
has the new inches added.

not telling

not telling

when i returned
the land came closer
the trees  gusted
near me the moon
as though
nothing more than
a small summer cloud
through broad daylight
watched me
the land
was ready to tell
me the great secret
since i had come
then it all turned
away in shadow
from me


26 july 2012


even the birds

need to shut up.


everyone does

& everything.


long live silence!

with my ear muffs


on so tight not even light

can escape them.


they’re industrial.

all i hear is the throb


of my head, if that.

2 sisters

When i got there

she was on her back & her sister


who’s like eighty herself

wasn’t much help. We pulled her


up but she died & after that

i thought about it, her stiff


board, the flaked bits of her

skirt & cardigan, the stink of


dog, how heavy she was.

I’d never seen her room before


or thought of it

on the other side of my wall.



Bloody Weather

An old man in a flat cap in a paddock.

We have been here before.

He told me then about the weather,

how it stole the life from crops

and he knelt into the soil.

This time, it is still dry.

A stunted dull crop leans

into the ground from whence it came.

It’s a right bugger, he said,

and he pulled the cap’s peak.

Never bloody rains when you want.

He can’t kneel now; the knees have gone.

I ache, he said.

It’s the bloody weather

how soft

how soft

how soft
the dawn
on drifts
of birdsong
how soft
the light put
to the sky
to the tiniest
how soft
you fall
again into
how soft
the whipped
greys in that
sky on a
that tell
of storm
the ridge
at sea
how soft.

dawn 24 september 2013

kill my buzz, i deserve it

kudos to you, i said,

good for you &

he went on                  &


more dead

than ever i

laid down


heard                           birds                            the breeze

slipped in &                 if                                  anything

i was happy

You’ve done that again?

Think if you can a picture
Of you and I embraced in a kiss
Feel how I tremble inside
Sorry if there was something I missed
Outside tonight
We can take on the cloak of the dark
Before the dawn of another day
He said this is what it sounds like
When purple doves cry
You are the feathers of doves
But you requested I stay away
What was I meant to do
A lonely world so cold
But you’re young and bored
I mistook you for something else
I was voted most likely to not succeed
With you beside me was simply a dream
Yes they talk of me up in the skies
I would have shown them
But the news says never till I die
You are just another thing I needed
I’ll find another like before
Before I fall off another ledge land head first upon the floor.

Creatures of The Sea

The terns and gulls are circling

gulping the river-mouth air.

They come in, drunk with hunger

to settle among the silver river waves,

pilfering the tiny life, water pearls

flicked to sun and sea.



The huts here are faded yellow

and candy-cane green.

They are anchored in the sand,

salted windows to the east;

holiday homes with simple shelves

and memories locked in cupboards



They rise early or at noon;

men in gumboots and shorts.

They taste the light and the air,

look east and west.

They will do something or nothing.

It is that sort of day

murchison afternoon

 murchison afternoon

for sure
it wouldn’t have
gone ahead much
since its heyday
already broken*
in your days here
a man of the mountains
come down to the town
for flour, a beer,
a look through the
general store
never bargaining
on prices, at most
just shaking your
head with hat
in hand.

in the pub
getting a coffee
i saw a photo of
a local hero with a
name like a sailor’s poem,
‘George Fairweather
Moonlight’, a man
you might have
heard talk of
in your days here
shadow piled up
those pine slopes
into late sun
on branch
flanks eastward
now stood
down in dark
looked up that
road the sign
‘matakitaki valley’
points at in the
sluice of sun
remembering bits
and pieces of what
you might have
told us a gold
nugget fixed on
a tiepin all you
kept over you
told us yet
your words
the same over
years went
much further
than you’d ever
have thought
have brought me
to this country
intersection of a
late afternoon
made of sky
and river stone
an afternoon
you might have
ridden straight
on through,

december 24, 2011
murchison – westport

*Murchison was almost completely devastated in the earthquake of 1929 that struck the South Island. My father searched for gold up the Matakitaki valley during the Great Depression.