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It is to be lived in, and loved– or abandoned.
But lived neither loved nor abandoned?

The parked car windows, with the same effect,
of all things apart-together, connected

without suffocation. In the bus-stop
glass my frame, in the blue garment

I chose to match my eyes; a reflection
of tired feet resting in the shallows

of island vacations, white supremacy
and fish as bright as butterflies. It has been

joked all children arrive at school
Butterflies and leave as Caterpillars.

Monotony of leaf-devour, the straight lines,
the lines which guide the flow, the traffic,

the wires, and the holes, lived in
and loved, or filled in, and left

to the refractory thrill of the soul
at its hour of physical death,

death: in the polls, Death of racist markers
in pretended functions, software’s emulsion,

server malfunctions, of what was there before
04 about myself, who never cares to listen:

the darkness is coming from the centre of the light.
The president isn’t the pope has never been

the queen forget it, all : it is to be lived
being eaten by the distances between the

steady oh we all go on the downhill in the end,
captured as a cartoon by the Artist His imagination.

These are His people, in the rain,
because that’s the only time we have

available, the Mower’s catcher off,
messy, but quicker.




That Note

The man is singing and dancing,

slides a black forefinger around the rim

of a drawn-down hat – a step out, a step to the left –

and lowers and raises his eyes.

He is watching us watch him; watching him glide

and writhe in his jumpsuit – and the music

rolls and he adds breath and timbre and the slow song

slips and slides and dances and it is then –

eyes lowered for you, darling – we know he is

singing to us: we know, and we step back

and close our own eyes and look up, to imagine

that note, that beautiful thing, aloft forever


Exile on Lame Street

an early morningtide

preamble – of sorts

where pebbles, damp

scrunch beneath these

leaded feet

that barely keep time

or so it seems, these days

but carry me on

hesitantly, onward

towards a reluctant bridge

(sometimes you dont need one)

or is it a coda – al segno !

while a somnambulant Maitai

seeps forth a dirge

and languid waters

barely disguise

an ominous silent form

seems we’re all teetering

on a verge – razors edge

or flirting alongside

and I’ll wait, for things

to pass, as they do

kill the hours – hum drum

with empty mirth

or mild amusement

and remember to dance

oh the incisive snap !

over bubbling keys

but no, friend, no I don’t

‘don’t wanna walk, talk about Jesus’

just show me a golden twilight

©Orion Foote, 2016

so believed

   so believed*

no child
this gentle man
yet don’t they say
it’s the children
who see angels
who hear god’s
voice above their
he had not written
to his best love*
for a year
yet sick now
unto death
his body ripped
through with pain
he begged his doctor
to write her
and ask of that
which truly ailed him
since only she could
know who knew of
his angels and the
gilded hours he touched
his fingers on those
of his god he sought
to free from man’s walls
into immensity
this child filled in heart
still with her love hers
for his his for hers
believed only she
could undo the knot
that crushed him
hard within
the metaphysical.

*if merely ‘sick’
this petulant
child would
not hear
of any cause
in name
lest in hearing
it be that.

19 december 2015

*inspired by the passage on page 82 Stephanie Dowrick’s ‘In the company of Rilke’, where she writes:

‘Having written to Lou 2 works before his death, for the first time in a year, describing pain that ‘loosens me.  Day and night,’ he ‘implored his doctors to “ask Lou what is wrong with me.  She is the only one who knows.”

*Lou Andreas-Salome

*based on his doctor’s comments where Rilke wishes not to discuss his illness under any name or conventional circumstance (as drawn from J. R von Salis’s work ‘Rainer Maria Rilke: The years in Switzerland’).


Wahine Shore

Ox blood, pounding – mad

Like fuming southerly gale

Nubile storm – keen

With sodden earthly tussock

Waka split, where Taniwha sang

Turned my flesh to bone

She, willing – churning guts

Her rolling limbs

Oh babbling tongue

Where nerve and steel

Held steady course

To cunt line – Andrew

The skin made new

As l rolled her

Over mighty torrents

Of a foul head wind

And somewhere – nowhere 

A red siren wailed

On a wild Poneke shore

©Orion Foote, 2016


The Return


Thick plumes, rising
Where the wood pigeon weeps
Above scorched remains
Of pungent kai
Infused, smouldering
Smoked by charred earth
Dried seaweed, Kahawai
And Koura for belly
Rough hewn pots, simmering
Calmed after heated furore

While woven nets await
At waters edge
For dawns first glimmer
Oh the springtide will return
As promised, my daughter
Listen ! The waka taua is near
And your brother smiles, again
While the Morepork sits
Silently gloats, watching
Under a sleepless, beaming moon

©Orion Foote, 2016

apple kiss

    apple kiss
                   for Keikei

so i dream
in the cold
of the year
the doors
creaking open
so wanting i
to surprise you
into happiness
trick you
into love
catch you in
the flow of the
hand like an
apple fallen
from the

june 2016

Lying in her long veils on the calm black water

Dreaming in her pallor of gold through splendid cities with fair hair;
pours burning love does he sink;
that by starlight! he sings and the woods sing!

In the wine of daylight the shivering willows.
– of her long blue hair, to love in the rose.
In a slumbering alder hemmed in by chimaeras.
– from violet forests: where the stars are sleeping.

Lying in her long veils, on the calm black water
into the deep ocean her great veils rising
the great dreaming swan but endless;

Into the ferocious tide rips, if there hurricane into the,
and a sweetmeat good of a flock of doves
trembled to feel, of silver waves



Sand along the walls.

Flamingo, sunning,

Took these scraper
to where a cat looks

Chin up, hurry down.

Everything is good –

© A2Kdavis 2015 – 2016

Summer’s Grain

Bristled waving heads folded and cut,

chaff flung in a dusty trail,

a man in a hat over the wheel;

face painted in dust and sweat;

summer’s strain, summer’s grain –

turning in ever-smaller circles –

tea in an enamel billy, red seeded

jam spilling off scones.

A boy in shorts running, open hands

thudding over stalks, dreaming

when he can wear a green felt hat

with a red feather in its band,

tip it down as the hot wind rolls off the hills,

little river of sweat cutting a trail.

A crop rocking in its bed.


[A re-written version of an older poem posted here]

eating fruit makes me think of you

So, the juice flowed

from the peach

as you bit

into it,

did it?



you sucked

it up,


your lips


rolled right

over it,

yes; and my

tongue lapped it

dry, bitch.




I too want to write a poem like this,

but better.


I want to talk about melons and banana

and grapefruit;


a red wine flavoured with blue-

berries and plum and ripe cherry,

enhanced by subtle oak.




Temporary Harbour



Much like the clouds
The salty mane
His weary squinting eyes
Otherwise engaged
They turn away – distant
Seaward of course
Rising hills, hand in hand
With windswept wharf
On this – port town morning

Stripped to the waist
His tattered nerves
All sinew, bone
A shattered wreck
For what else is a man ?
Etched in his arm (though faint)
A Sharp blade dagger
With serpent-snake entwined
‘It’s a mugs game’
Though he knows no other
Vida, Loca, Life

And it’s hard to tell
At this unholy hour
Not easy to separate
Early morning condensation
With rancid fumes he blows
Fine, dark, laced with rum
Navy cut tobacco
Cracked leather pouch
Damp – smells faintly of
Tainui earthly scent

Warm air sits heavy
Thickly set
Blue smoke sails high
But one could smite
Like wind so foul
Shred it with a knife
Just a sailors knot
And that’s his lot
‘It’s a mugs game’ he says
It’s on the waves
Shot through my blood
Vida, Loca, Life

©Orion Foote, 2015

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