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.
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Poetry

On sandwiches and other lunches

it’s 11.52 
and I’ve long ago eaten my lunch of cheese 
and lettuce sandwiches.

I could have added slices 
of tomato or cucumber, 
but then the bread gets soggy
and wet bread is like
cold jeans in the morning. 

sandwiches are a family heirloom
passed down from my mother
who always made them, 
with odd fillings too, like baked beans 
or lasagne. 

there aren’t as many sandwich eaters now; 
we’re all grown up 
with our credit cards and mortgages 
and lunches 
with rocket salad on the side.  

at university 
I bought nachos from the cafeteria 
once a week, 
served by Polynesian women 
who ladled mince and hot cheese sauce like a syrup   
over corn chips in a polystyrene bowl:
a meal that sticks in the memory

                               —and now I'm tempted 
by hot food from the pie warmer:
the chips, the sausage rolls, the potato tops, 
the kranskies and deep-fried sushi.

because if you’re going to buy lunch 
it should be hot 

and life 
can’t be all sandwiches 
in Tupperware containers. 
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Poetry

Arriving

We can’t get it right 
      like Newton—we search 
            for patterns to lay it down 

in best durable forms 
      [laughter]: watch the sea 
            deal with rocks, 

feel the sand between 
      your toes. Does it matter 
            that Antares can consume 

663 trillion Earths? 
      Monstrous weight, that can, 
            if you like, be lifted 

by the work of bees: 
      a miracle none foretold.
            Let’s say of art 

that it thinks differently
      about the shape of mushrooms 
            we picked together 

on Saturday—we don’t know 
      anything about them, 
            except two hours of fun 

in paddocks: the biosphere 
      and adventure ours. No one’s 
            going nowhere 

but the infinity of our own 
      creative purpose, arriving 
            at a place unknown.
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