cousins

 cousins

dedicated to Richard Morris Stoven Taylor, our ‘Uncle Morris’, and Jack Le Baige, who were cousins, and the journeys they took together

one a graduate in
dental science
known to all
as ‘Doc’
the other shrugged off
school at twelve for
a bank messenger’s job
that led to a farm job
and even his own farm
on a wind-blown coast
until the great depression
took it

remembering your talk
round our kitchen table
over scones, over sponge

i see you both on horses
riding along those black sand
beaches the sand blowing
round their hooves
like glittering streaks
of cirrus cloud
marram grass sketched
over with the sky’s glance
not talking much but of
only worthwhile things
boar’s tusks and how
it troubles the animal
when they grow into
a full circle puncturing
the coarse-haired cheek
shipwrecks and sandbars
the missionary great great
grandfather among
chiefs taking tea
with them spars and
white horses sea horses
and the rest.
ride gentlemen
ride to the dunes
sand coming off
them like turning
pages.

dunedin 2010

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