Archive | November, 2010

these sounds give space away (Oct 2010)

18 Nov

A man is shouting outside
  down the hill from me

it is an autistic sound
like an argument with the wind

the voice is strong
and tunneled

A soft sheeng of a bell
peels the distraction away

I close my eyes
and lean back into my spine

My mind
  holds space together

dependent on my ears –
constructing what is still
    or moving or hard or distant

These sounds give space away

The fireplace tinkles shiny metal
within a room.

The carpet sounds old, little filaments
stuck to attention. Rubbing.

A bird reaches a tree – wood and song – soft
like a diminished presence. Closed windows.

The man is shouting, heavier –
climbing stairs – words becoming clear:

    if you are going on a journey

I am sitting on a cushion, eyes closed
and I know there’s no one with him –

this man is shouting at the air, which does not contract
like a disagreement

there is no rebound

there is momentum

there’s inspiration, singularity
forceful  conviction

a cat pouncing
a shag diving

a man running
a red light

    if you are going on a journey
     you must look at the signs

My meditation teacher giggles.


catching early morning (Oct 2010)

18 Nov

Wake me up, in a hut before first light,
just shake my feet
as you come
    down from the top bunk.

Let’s be quieter
than the rustling breath of sleepers
and early morning summit climbers.

Let’s be softer than the wood
chopping snores of
exhausted parents.

Let’s pretend they didn’t keep
us awake with their dreams
of hunting.

Instead, let us escape into
the view of early morning –

There’s a mountain
underneath us, take a look at
the coveted valley – because in the dark

someone uncoiled clouds
and laid them out, unbraided
between peaks,

hoping to gather
    all the sounds
of night and the unspoken words of day

and someone left them there for the sun to pick up

the shadows
the light
the frost
the steam

as the fingers of the sky
and the fingers of the valley
seek to hold hands

Mt Holdsworth summit (Oct 2010)

18 Nov

The trig is clear
from a ridge two hours walk away.
A well deserved stop –

we boil a hot chocolate
  with chilli
to warm up us.

For a mountain top
there’s no wind
and our breath is the only cloud.

We take a stone to the trig
and write a poem
on its rusted black board

and then we jump around
  warming our feet –
the sun has another hour to drop.

We can see a chalk smudge triangle
the size of my little fingernail
it is Mt Taranaki, around it

    the air
   shivering –
 unsure of itself.

The coastline at day’s end
teal and white

and empty, a crescent
shaped for the sun to find
  a comfortable slot.

There are mountains
brushed as a single stroke
into the sea.

Up here, there are many islands
many skies  many seas
and a seam of blue

pours them together
as the blue flies out
  and fades out.

On my feet I slowly spin
  these mountains
a full circle

capturing something
a foot away
and unfathomable space.

Our billy is empty
we have finger-licked the chocolate
pieces melted to the bottom

the billy reflects back
a golden world
but the metal is cold.

The sun is not far off
setting, the sea is hosting the fire
and throwing it back into the sky.

We pack up and
see the first star.


Up (Oct 2010)

18 Nov

    this mountain
I am climbing

like generations of trees
  within a forest
that climbed a ridge
slower that I

three hundred years covered
  in one step

though I imagine there’s more ease –
the effortlessness of dropping
a seed
the effort of dropping my backpack

an equal readiness I am sure

and I imagine as the sun
seeks the seed

a great movement must rise

  an immersion, dank earth
  a potential, leaf litter
  an arrival, spring rains

and the yank of light lifts us up

twilight tramp (Oct 2010)

18 Nov

There’s two hours of daylight left
and a three hour tramp
there’s a river, a constant sound

to the right telling us
  what staircases sound like
There’s a palace of bush

  with many entrances
and archways
There’s the servants’ quarters –
the laundry room that got boggy

there’s the tea room, with the
  excellent view –
the tea is green and hot

There’s the path covered
in matted mosaics
spiraling off …

The guards dim the lights
no one says closing time
we are ushered on to a board walk
a bridge  a bridge  another bridge

the fountains are many
the sound gives them away
We walk in silence and

see stars in puddles
becoming galaxies
There are no shadows anymore
only dark rooms

In not saying translucent (Oct 2010)

18 Nov

Here’s another walk, another
sun streaking my glasses

painting albino eyelashes
like deep-water

liquid lost in an oil spill
and the rainbow of it

turning silk
aqua-marine on grass

wind turning tentacle blue
out at sea, and the blue of this

catching the sun in full white.
Radiance. And a dark spot behind

yet another sun, dances
in surprise.

the entire universe (Oct 2010)

16 Nov

When diversity is the entire universe,
and creatures fly to the horizon –
as is their timing, not ours,
then we will evolve in their death
and we will evolve in their life.

This horizon spells life, and creatures
will move across, after this life,
and they will move across again,
after that life too. We do not understand
evolution of souls

and with best intentions, we offer
to pull them back. We create a rescue plan
because we believe we need them
for as long as heaven

What heaven can we bring to earth?

It could be a static museum collection,
a prized collection where Extinction
was the looter of laughing owls and long legged
wrens and many more songs
we can only guess at.

Their whistles and shrills
are bones for us, their silhouette
a milestone, or lesson
perhaps, and we open our eyes
to what remains; these treasures on earth.

What heaven can we bring to earth?

Sanctuary is freedom, yes, given at a cost.
To a bird, it’s just a thread from the sky,
but for those who use no wings,
it is a cage from the earth,
keeping out what may

hurt or die. Yet all those within
can saunter, sing, snack.
Those in the in are free to die of old age
while those without must learn
their ways are old and not tolerated.

Though light can tolerate shadows.

For that Tui is a territorial wee thing.
In the beauty of song or swift
flight camber, she is making
her preference of trees known
(those plump berries, that powdery nectar),

but in this sanctuary, there’s more than enough
to go around, more than enough
sugar, coating the sublime songs sung for supper.
And there’s more generations
and more warbling songlines to come.

There is space enough for light and shadow.

And when the sanctuary is the entire universe,
then everything and everyone contained
has a natural order and an original nature
that survives the first man
and the last, like a half millennia
plan is the Sunday that God intended.

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