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.

our solitude

rub the dark

spot of her

solitude, her


feathers                               down


..                                             give,

the water here                  is


mottled, spun

by the late sun,                 high

clouds & gulls


heading out.


& still                                     we’re alone

even when I

sanctify these

gentle folds

beneath the                       cold heavens.