Poetry, Uncategorized

On this lucky earth

after W.H. Auden

Staring up from a field in Pakistan, your eyes 
like the eyes of any child. Your face enlarged on a poster 
that can be seen from the edges of the human inhabitable zone 
on this lucky earth; and viewed again on our screens
while eating or opening a window, or just walking dully along. 
Drones that hover their targets don’t see. 

I sit outside a café at an unsteady table on an uneven path, 
where another child, lifted high on shoulders, waves a tiny hand.
There’s a seamless sky behind the weight of cherry blossom; 
and I’m unsure whether to share with friends 
the image of you—as pixels to the wind—or to simply forget 
and build my delicate home the way I’d like it to be.
Standard
Poetry

Path

I prefer paths worn to those laid out; 
the blending of grass from centre to edge 
by the passing of continual feet 
rivals the shading of Old Masters. 

Down these paths seed-head and flower 
brush calves, but don’t impede, 
because enough of us walk this way, 
descending with each unique promise. 

*

The southern wind edges the waves 
moving across the bay; white lines of static 
flicker and vanish: a jumpy picture of turquoise-blue 
blotted with shadows from dampened clouds. 

Amidst the froth and crests of roughening seas, 
the birds in the distance race to a haven 
at the north end of Tokerau, where the sands curve 
behind the rocks marked with Kupe’s net.

*

The rain comes. It’s too much to stay 
exposed on the stone altar 
of a church, or in the circle of a henge. 
From the sea we must retreat. 

I look back at the dimpled sand; 
our footprints already fading. We turn 
into the gloom of leaf and frond, follow the path
of pressed grass shimmering like a stream.
Standard
Poetry

Big Love Song #21

after Arthur Rimbaud

It doesn’t mean a thing: 
the pyramid eye
or the constellations,
not night’s scattered verse. 

Smoking incense, 
the bride’s dress, 
the taste of dark wine—
it doesn’t mean a thing. 

Neither does beautiful Paris: 
the elegant avenues,
the asphyxiating decay, 
the distant nausea. 

Only your soft pure face
and the warm bed of home.
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