Shoal Harbour

Bright city light meets waking dawn

Incandescent shoal shimmers

Strangley symbiotic

Harbour bridge traffic an aural backdrop

To birdcall and lapping water

Strangley soothing

The puddles are delicious

Shells cut my feet

It’s all relative, I am content

on poetic composition

my word isn’t blood or milk

spilt or symbolical of it.


i’m cut by what’s

remembered, what is not

& the gap, a flat windy lot

that rings like wooden chimes.


for days, as mice play in the cracks

between my toes & fingers,

i lie in the hollows or high

billowing like wheat the colour of hair.


there’s nothing to it – the massive meditations

of sky & mountain

where i hear myself, think.

The Bookseller

The book seller

does not look up

He is lost

in the art of the non-sale

His book is held out:

it a prop and he the actor.

Here he rules, with Frame and Sullivan;

Michener and Collins

The air is stale,

fusty with his leavings

He manages a feigned smile:

‘’Looking, are we?’’

There is no escape:

not the poetry or cooking;

not Home Mechanics

A bell shakes above the door

Sea air enters, a buyer leaves

otago sky

otago sky

all the leavings of stone
and sky from creation
that fateful day
are dumped
i saw skies
in one
this early morning
stormings of cloud
long shores of it
burstings of gutted
pink torn out
of the pages
of genesis
poplar towers
poplar shoals
rocking in that
wind its flog
in shoulder
with the hard
eye of sun
on those
dry plains
felt out of
place to be
so near the
old birthings
of land
sky that
told histories
of itself to
the deaf
my view
to the hilt
of sight.


january 2012

Rats in the Attic.

The atrocity of sleep
its rasped, wooden cogs
turn greased and gruesome
atop me.
Leaving me slick,
sick in its absence.

A wonted tryst
with a vanished shadow
pending repetition –
a witch’s vigil
is at my windowsills.

Want is the moon,
the forecast – 23 floors down.
My faculties are static,
while rats scratch out torrid
letters – romantic,
in the attic.

Still Loving

The quiet eye


our ankles,

soft against

each other;


idles in

the under-

ground tavern

I sweep

in my mind,

deep into corners

and back


the wall.


I see


and heavy

jaws of the dark;

a few words

sifted, careless.

I’ve seen them.


I’ve seen you,

fly into a

man’s eye

and out again;

nearing the rope

I keep

in the cupboard.


Distant now;

a thousand

coloured balls


across the



Out of the room

I see you – white;

splash a bee

on the brick-work,

kick on your back

and see me

at the window.


14 February, 2018

The Flexi-verse


In the flexi-verse l am a scientist. A lawyer. A policewoman. A murderer. A artist. A wastrel. A malingerer. A politician. A dancer. A healer. A brothel keeper. A serial killer.
Which one am l now?
A Netflix binge Her.

When l dream we touch. Blend a bit. Swirl. Live for a bit in each other’s worlds and then as if giant magnets polarized us. We disperse back to our realms.

That will do for now. Only in sleep can these things be discussed.

Last night l was thewastrel. It was good. I was happy down sizing my big soft bed for a little thin mattress to go on my tiny self. I was dirty but felt clean. Picking up cans instead of healing auras.

Sea Here

The sea slurps

beneath the wooden slats,

near the bobbing boats,

little masts and care-worn flags.

Crates of fish come up –

hefted on swollen muscle;

grey and white flesh

slick with the sea, mouths

open too late;

jagged on lines.

The gulls have come –

red sea legs and tiny eyes

watching – always

for a slip, a morsel.

The sea behind the bay

rattles the stones,

flips the tiny shells,

they wink at a watery sun



mervyn miro

merv worked in grey lynn
in the shoe factory his job
in the storeroom turning
big uneven pieces of leather
back and forth in mind on
the wooden table to count out
see clearly just how many uppers
the flattened spread of the upper
part of the shoe could be
cut from one such
piece all day
turning the leather
thinking a headful
of Miró
shapes under a
electric light
come winter
summer in an
air that fairly
come back in from
lunch i’d tell him
times it was
beautiful out there
he’d always reply
“i call this kind of
good weather
‘grey lynn weather’”
and i’d think what he
meant the blue out
there all uncut and
clean yet perfectly
edged along rusting
iron rooves of
left-over paints.

merv, i’d like
to think, well retired
now alone in his
mother’s house is
looking out on a
garden he fusses
about in under
a sky that times
looks like his
typical grey lynn
good weather
nothing to cut
just the days
to fit into
a smaller


the doctor will see you now, Mr Lazarus

tonight, rain; the white

flap of pages



the winding of the stairs



to sleep of this, the roar

wheels. of sea. so wild

to think it.



to understand.


a place to go/

crave/ to hold the still

beating heart.



Horror. Slept 9 hours. Rib

cracked, head trashed of its

contents/ was I thinking/ to let

my guard down, sink, be filled;

fall beneath you, everything;


& after the rumination of toast w marmalade –

think. Not think but something akin to it,

like you’re setting cushions on the sofa;



& with the house quiet like this,

it can be done. The workers out back

are cool, w their chatter & the clunk

of wood on concrete/ feels

like the world is born, dreams

unwound; slowly lived thru.