Maungawhau

Sometimes, I walk rooms of that

house in half-light. In

museums the mind makes

 

nothing moves behind glass;

installations sleep, frozen actors

playing nothing to startle

 

anyone. Tiny boy dreaming, a wee

wooden cot, couple watching

TV; sparse furnishings speak of

 

souls gone cold; if I try hard

moments flare – my muscles taut,

still thirty, making wooden runes

from scavenged kauri or

 

Sam amid the orange tree

Einstein hair, pukunui in a pale

blue t-shirt,

 

promise of a smile

– but Maungawhau is best left

sleeping;

 

why summon its dead fire?

 

 

 

Le matin

D’être toujours vivant, ça vaut

quelque chose. Ce matin il y a toujours la lune

qui se cache derrière les appartments

penchés sur le parc où je me

 

ballade. Partout un tapis de feuilles d’hiver

rouille et or.  Tout ce que je vois est vivant –

ça sent, ça sonne, ça brille. Le chien

cherche sa balle le nez dans

 

l’herbe et moi, je m’arrête pour l’instant

pendant qu’ils m’arrivent ces mots

de n’importe où dans cette langue

étrangère. Je suis vivant comme il faut –

 

le coeur au tambour, le cerveau en course

sur ces routes, le corps servile. Je vais rester

un moment reprendre mon souffle

sous ce ciel meurtri.

 

Distance

Of those I think I have seen for the last time

you are who camps in my mind unmoving; the

lazy smoke of your fire heavy on the still morning

spreads unsure if it might settle or lift. The last

time, we were on a train and Marseille was an

idea in the distance. You said there are streets

in the old town no one should wander down and

sat back in your seat returning to a thought derailed,

righting it said, it’s an absence of distance comme

la pornographie. But I cannot recall what it was we

were discussing. Your philosophy was a road I looked

down, familiar but stretching too far; turning, I saw

you from above so close, your eyes behind your glasses

like two turtles unsure if they might venture forth or

withdraw. And now rumours reach me from the distance

time has carved like a fissure between us of you bent

by the weight of your knowing, worries conundrumming

like the slow drip of water until they wear paths that

no one should travel; lost you blink in the sunlight

shielding your eyes from what you imagine is there. Is it

an absence of distance between the observer and the

observed, a moment caught unaware, naked in the crisp

morning and so startled, cannot move on?

 

 

 

Metamorphosis 

I’ve been writing this blog for quite some time now and have decided it’s time to broaden its scope. I am a fiction writer mostly and only write poetry and prose-poetry for a bit of ‘exercise’ when I’m not writing other stuff – novels and short fiction. I have written an adult literary novel which did the rounds of publishers but never made the cut. My latest effort is a young adult novel that is now under consideration (fingers crossed.) As a way of venturing into self-publishing and self-promotion (something I am not at all cut out for) I thought I might publish some previously published short stories and perhaps some unpublished fiction (depending how brave/foolhardy I am.) Hopefully you’ll find a moment to read the longer writing…

Dr Frankenstein

Daunted already
working in a dim predawn
light, he arranged then attached
body parts he’d secreted from countries

geographically
distant, politically strained, religiously opposed,
attempted the delicate knifescaping
of neural pathways (some cauterisation,

some re-routing and reforging)
and in an unanticipated twist
found so many negative
polarities, combined, formed

a primitive magnetism
that re-fired long dormant meridians
and sparked life. This

melded man lay
like a newborn kicking its legs
arms wide looking at him
not even a question

on its red lips.