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The Night’s Stay Young

a couple of quiets

son, it couldn’t get much louder


these young fellah’s

pride of the south

proud as punch

with tattoos so bright

still fresh

like they came down

in the last coast town shower


as they raise pool cues

exalt quiet ones

to mouths that once nuzzled

a mothers breast – her milk

young sailors

now set to brave heavy seas

all sheets to the wind

all ink and mouth


i’ll  drink a toast – to youth

and the promise it won’t keep

head back home

along the shore

up the garden path

to follow a merry –

dance – with mermaids

just in from the sea

and on to that house

on the hill

and there I’ll be

pining for the lone pohutukawa

nestled against the hill

with not a tall poppy

in sight – not for

a country mile

not around here



a pale periwinkle sky

to my left

the foaming sea

sacred trees to my right

and into the night

i’ll wait

for sour grapes

to argue with the fading light


while the mind will natter

with this arvo’s wine

and i’ll raise a toast


to you old friend

and them

not forgetting me

myself and i

to gaze west

at endless seas

all sheets to the wind

all ink and mouth


©Orion Foote, 2016






Figure’s in the dust.
walks aloft, rippling

In the spirit

That the head, less even,

A step too heavy. Mine,
or theirs?
The giggle rolls…
it stops.

It’s caught

Without the knowledge in
how clever it was tossed.
© A2Kdavis (K Davis) 2016

I Wish

Don’t get me started, he said,

on doctors and teachers,

and he took in his breath.

Bloody useless, he said.

And exhaled.

It was all he could do:

breathe, have a good rant.

His legs were shot, not his mind.

The eyes blazed with knowledge.

And life. Bloody life.

Lot of fuss, really.

You live. You die.

Wouldn’t it be nice, he said,

to fall asleep and not wake.

That’d be it; nice and easy

I am

I am fire

I try to burn my way home

I see nothing but the trail of embers in my wake

I understand I can supposedly grow and nourish things in the ashes

I explore this possibility tenderly yet

I am fire

I feel the sorrow of things that could have never been and the loss of things I should have never seen.

I hear the cataclysmal crashing of the trees that are my dreams

I create nothing from something and

I wonder if I will ever create again or just burn out

I am fire

I know I was an inferno, but I am now only a candle in the wind and yet

I still pray to an uncaring, unlistening host of divinity for my soul back

I hope and I scream for it.

I am a small flame.

Early Loss

The street is small-town grey.

Doors closed. Shuttered.

Peeling signs peeling.

Grimy windows.

Hand-prints, smudged.

Sauce. And blood

There are no specials.

Not today. Not now.

There are ghosts, too.

Of the workers.

They came here from school.

All new cellphone and gel.

On a minimum wage.

Remember, he said:

finish the deal.

Yeah. Nah. As if.

They left, one after the other.

Left behind the hope.

The amateur patter.

They saw life’s trick.

Did their heads in.

It did. Really.

Fibre-Optics, My Dear

they clung together in bolsters

like oblique trajectories


as finely woven splinters,

creeping – slighted


bound, mingling with damp,

atop algae covered stone


gloriously sated, in silent hues

of ochre tincture


now burnished bold

with fine alluvial dust


came quietly sweeping,

with haste – upstream


where crepuscular nocturnes

of liquid – churning


danced exquisite – alongside

the course battered flax


sun-dried, then parched

beneath intrepid blaze of sun


though only to return

under deep cloak of night


to lay inert upon humus

in dank, drizzled shards


near a barren mound

upon a dark chiselled plain



©Orion Foote 2016


Rattle, Roll

The train’s call is a thin pre-dawn bellow.

It slides up a riverbed slick with rain and secret in mist.

There is the urgency of momentum – thrum of diesel ever more strident as a rise steals the power.

No passengers, just a driver in a room of iron, eyes following a yellow beam.

It is a parade of bent trees, sheds in shadow – ever on, ever on – liquids and grains in long grey tombs.

South today.

Not that you would know if it were going or returning: it is just a lump of sound caught between the lines,

pressing past shadowy roads, fields floating in snaking mist, figures at windows – alone, together, moving.

The rattle,  the precision, a driver, eyes fixed on nothing.

A low cantankerous moan in the night



from: Love The Word Feeling Actual

. . . . . . . . .
History: is guessing
what was left out
who knew the secrets
and who had the clout.

History: is running
back to where you came
why prophets and profits
sound alike.

History: is written
words sealed to their shape
but you know by looking
where the words are not

there’s a whole lot
of Nothing keeps 
History in place.

. . . . . . . . .

History: is weaning breasts
in loose singlets; the adult nipples
of the brunette

as she undoes the buttons
on the blond,
fingering her friends

pyjama strings, elbows
to palm, they arch
against the wall
papered with the drooping
legs of egrets.

. . . . . . . . .

Your name— is a protected seed.
This poem: is a fertile thought
recognised in Time— it is not
the aloneness of the mountain :

Einstein’s failure to understand
the importance of Lensing,
may, once again, indicate
a hidden hand among the times

A man can be spelt away;
women spelt the same.
Bodies in flame evaporate
being, waves in fluid Time

from a human birth, a mother
from her dark into the light
the conundrum of ‘the other’
consciousness which cannot
know itself without another
of something which it’s not

. . . . . . . . .

Songbird Why You’ll Never Sing

Part 1

I sent you a letter last night in my dream
Deemed to never arrive
Captured by hook of my bed post
A moonlit message of hope
Heaven in a wild flower
Fragrance rare
The ink on the parchment
Scatter a tale of love and hope
Empty in such a confined space

You are the rose made of the finest spyder silk
And golden milk of Queens unrepentant
Desired by wealthy merchants and alchemists
Queen of your own kingdom
Enchanted by the songbirds of early dawn
Honey dew grass moist with freshness and morning dew
You’re the guard of your hidden daughters
Outspoken from the corners of daybreak
You radiate a pleasant denial
The light of a new day
Captures the hearts of all you string along
You are from a star constellation born of the sun
Rise emporess wife to no king
You are what darkness forgets us
Quilted memories a trail you left
Your eyes the most sacred we ever came across
Our hearts as a bird beats its wings
Feathered to never meet
Denial in self gloat
Get over yourself stop milking the goat.

Part 2

You wouldn’t care
Instead I slip away unnoticed

Everywhere comes unrequited lovers
I become another poet of empty words

When silence rushes in unequal
Leaning on a chair I say nothing
The waters in my well turn to blood

I was out of time out of touch
Different sphere all mine
Technically its something we have to believe in
Every once awhile I dream about her smile
There was something pleasant about that place
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder,
This is a start of a journey.

3rd sonnet

The eternal lines live still, but the boy,

where does he dwell, the young man with a face

more fair than any girl, and with more grace

than a princess royal, endowed for her joy?


His eyes like the blue rounded heavens shone

for some one unbounded love, but not you;

and you loved him all the same, though you knew

that his charm would fade, and one day be gone.


And what is he now, this man: an idea

in the mind. But a shade can never die,

and beautiful remains, as long as I’m here

to feel it. One day with him I too will lie.

But the idea will live though we all die,

and the firmament itself disappear.


9 April 2016

Keeping in Touch

i got your message

this morning –

it rattled these eyelids

in a bird song hour,

and needless to say,

the weather’s picked up

in such timely fashion –

taken a turn for the better


well I’m sure you’d agree,

the old boards could do

with running repairs –

a new coat of paint (a lick or two)

and when was the last time

we lifted the roof –

had one too many,

sunk a few ?


some nights i rant

or curse at the moon

chat with the dead –

though can’t quite seem

to give up the ghost son

but for what it’s  worth

i’m  glad you called,

rang a few bells

in a bird song hour

this morning


Orion Foote, 2015


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