As though the sea had come inland, a high wind,
multi-layered sound of rush,
through which a roar of metal engines,
planes silently visible, cutting down through
southerly / sou' westerlies
before arrayed marble busts in cloud columns
under a blue helmet of late afternoon sky in July.
over a two-day period, what might have amounted
to a strike force, a squadron of black cockatoos
swung low across the Inner West
sending the habitually roofed pigeons into a squalid,
circular panic - unaccustomed to the sharp pitched cry
of those rarely seen visitors in from the bushlands,
outrunning the shadows of gorges and bluffs.
TE MATA / TE KUITI (for
Bob Orr & Michael Oliver)
Inky dark cloud, and that one
the octopus, Bob, the moon
through it; tentacles windily
grasping on high air. Somewhere,
behind the hill
the back of your place, the sea,
and hissing. Earlier on, a tui played a
few classical notes ...
Lush country south, Te Kuiti
snug in its valley;
limestone country! and lilies in gullies
trumpeting that same
full moon, deep beneath this land water rushing
a sky black under its tarp, the star's
filaments, low, fuzzing.
The few trains that bi-sect the town hoot
through. All night, driveways glow with a white crushed
October 30, 2005
Groups of gulls at intervals
heading to the mountain, and the sea the other side
to a stretch of blue-grey water in a gully
reservoir, or a refuse tip.
Dead tree-spars folding through - a grey quilt
over its flanks.
The 'organ pipes' (dolerite columns) hang from the
as though baleen in the mouth of a whale.
I have looked on the mountain
for six days now and yet cannot move it.
As we are inhabited by our (owned)
imaginations too greater weight upon the word
reduces that world to rubble strewn beneath
the sun's revolution,
or caught in the moon's titanium glare.
Cascade Road /
South Hobart. January 7, 2006
TANIA, NEWLY ARRIVED
You would think that rainbow, memory of comet, all those
undying colours that plummet?
Sky umbrella, curved as shepherd's crook that falls,
is an axe splitting the skull of earth, a serpent released.
A wedge of
guardian at her breast.
She told me,
(dark green, holding its shadow) 'from the
heart of the stone' from
that country to which I would soon enough return.
Street, Enmore, March 27, 2006
The lit, landed dish that is Te Kuiti back flips
momentarily before my eyes
into the bowl-like configuration of Wellington
harbour Ð those running lights,
yellow along Old Petone Road; Rimutakas nothing yet
where that bulk blackness holds.
Here, the 'lone shunter' wolfs through the centre of
flashing flamenco signal lights the last wagon behind.
In a small,
Eastern European enclave
a laden cart over cobblestone pre-supposes
I am here, a Trotsky in Te Kuiti, the first time
a black sky seen in years.
The Milky Way adrift, as smoke from
some distant campfire; krill-like, a god's wet dream.
There are women who press upon your breath like master
organ players, to make or break.
I am here, isolate, Te Kuiti. Omphalos. Limestone country. These hills
that dip and trough could
leave you swamped, the sky a swagger.
Harrier hawk switches to remote half way between paddock
and half way house, spiralling, radial, ever reliable stage prop.
Wind that tumbles north through trees
bringing the sound of rushing water over troubled contours.
As if in that stillness from the night before the morepork
had orchestrated this hour.
I am here,
overseeing morning fog,
twenty years shunted to a siding the other side of the Tasman. That city. That