poet’s path

you’ve gotta kiss a lot of toads
before you find your prince
you’re gonna write a load of dross
read lines that make you wince
but there’ll come a time 
(one hopes)
some day beyond the clatter
and croaking of false frogs and toads
you’ll find some words that matter 

2 songs

the Lamb shall lie in the long grass;

near-by, the Lion,

 

in spring –

 

II

 

the lamb lies in the long grass,

sprung

 

side of a river

side of a river
for Keikei

on riverside ave
the estuary waters
brimming to
the field’s edge
lapping under
root and grass
we called the
sea upon us

on riverside ave
we crossed the
the bar, the bar
of shadow that
would see us
parted and apart
with no compass
of heart to help
cross and find
each other
face to face
we crossed that
high sea bar the
sharks of fear in
swarm around

on riverside ave
we stood together
saw the turning
boats like leaves
the tides cannot
unloose and
knew the sails
set within would
take us into nights
we might enfold
each other in

on riverside ave
we did kneel for
summer blood
erupting through
pohutukawa
trees
those
tuatara
branches
on riverside ave
we became each
sweet other’s
prayer

december 2016
riverside ave

Me; Orator

Tell me, stranger

–  your eye amplifies me –

Are my words away though,     as I hear them?

blown out      damp as the night air.

 

It’s owned in my brain; tight

until I speak             and ooze.

An ear of mine cranes, in exile – a dog.

It can     not    near    the master’s voice

 

that creeps    and climbs    and peaks

at the white hair of your temple.

The Waterfront

I watch all night.

To see the moon dance on oil,

The shadows grow and twist,

The little boats tip and yaw.

Sometimes there are footsteps –

Quiet and reasoned – on the planks,

Hands cupped and faces turned.

Sometimes you think that all life is here;

Men and women and creatures, poised

Under the blackness of the rolling tide.

Here, there are moaning horns and the rattle of diesel,

The slow slap of a yearning sea caught, now

In the harbour’s restraining arms.

It is only here, when night is at its darkest,

That you know deals are done and restless men

Roll and twist in their pressed-in bunks.

This is where the seabirds wait,

Dancers on one leg, to see the colour of the day,

Where there is every sound – the grinding of steel, the snap of rope – and there is no sound;

When it is just blackness and salt, a vastness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Sun

They joke, as old men do;

All innuendo and bluster:

Christ, you’d be a useless –

But he doesn’t finish it because here,

Side by side in the autumn sun

It is too nice for insult,

feigned or intended.

They talk in the shorthand of shared lives:

Machinery and parts and hard work;

The glory of knowing, now at least,

It was just about worth it;

What with tea not far away,

The sun smeared on lined faces.

Now, the decades folded in

They even know the other’s jokes.

Useless you reckon; you’d know.

And then the look that said more.

master of arts

There’s no rest.

& my feet hurt.

the cats must be fed.

& the kids..

 

(in my sleep –

score the glass,

the page between

scissor blade..

s;

 

daze &

nights caught

in the long

grass between

bright eyes..

 

lie. give in/up.

the lot,

every.. one. ah,

 

bitter cold it

is, Agnes..

I rise

because of you.)

 

and man must play

his stereo (boom- –

there’s a joke there some-

where but

f… if i know

where).

 

All of this

is necessary,

granted.

accident.

either way..:

 

blind

spear the stars &

there where it lands

go.

 

II

 

You have lain

half a day

to watch the sky

pale; mean-

 

while my skin

tone dimmed

as the mood

set in &

flew as clouds

fly.

 

Attention Seeking

it’s time to move he says
can’t have you falling down the stairs
at every chance you get
attention seeking

our home is perfection she says
looking out over the ocean
other houses hidden from view
and no barking dogs

but they start looking anyway
at hutches and rabbit warrens
neighbours within spitting distance
as they nearly all are

they explore all city suburbs
short list their preferences
a few streets here and there
not many fit the bill

they consider a retirement village
a ghetto for the elderly
while watching their net worth dwindle
but the children approve

Yes they must do something
sooner rather than later
before one of them carks it
attention seeking

What my daddy done told me

skinny women look cold
my pa always said –
for warming the bed
man needs buxom instead,
somehow that has always
cheered me up
considerable

 

 

A Boy

Our feet are pools of dust

Where the gums lean.

The scent sits on the breeze,

A sun-stirred perfume.

We were here long ago

With a carefree boy.

He kicked the stones,

Aimed at the stars:

He never missed, he said.

He winked at us

As the May cold came in.

Perhaps he is here now.

In February.

Among the shadows.

In the dust.

In the memory.

real crack

have come at last to love

again the sun; spring,

the end of death;

 

sheep on the hill, toil

of the first man

to dig his fingers

in the soil, feel

blessed, love:

 

love, You: the glass

between us cracked,

our fingers touch:

 

Light, Blood..