Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Annie Leibovitz

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Moonlight Rivers

I found a picture of a girl
in black and white
crouched on a rock, water
wooshing all around her.

Her hands pray
in front of her knees
white knee caps
like boney skull eyes
almost no breasts, you can tell.

Her cheek bone, cheek, sunken
like an anorexic
or a water sprite.
Something not quite human.

She affects me.
I should write something
instead I flick another game of solitaire
over her face, over all of her -
begin again.

But the image doesn't leave.
I focus on the cards to block her out
but I know
she's me.

Crouched in the slipstream
not quite sure if I'm real
or starving
and too afraid to say

'I love you'

because to say makes it real
and that will mean moving
from my rock

loosing my arms from around my knees
and exposing my breastless chest
and the hole in my belly where
starlight falls.

If I deal just one more game
the cards might turn in my favour
but they stop falling into place before
I can get them squared away
in tidy piles.

I could say 'I love you'
but I don't know if it's true
and if it isn't
I'll slip from my rock
and the moonfish
will swallow me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Poems By Alistair te Ariki Campbell

I found a few online. I hope I don't get into trouble for copying them here!

Gallipoli Peninsula

It was magical when flowers
appeared on the upper reaches –
not that we saw much of the upper reaches.
But when we did,
we were reminded of home
when spring clothed the hills with flowers.
The dead lying among them
seemed to be asleep.
I can never forget the early mornings,
before the killings started up,
when the sea was like a mirror
under little wisps of cloud
breathing on its surface, so dazzling
it hurt the eye.
and the ships, so many of them,
they darkened the sea.
But the evenings too were magical,
with such hues in the sky
over Macedonia,
so many colours, gold bars,
green, red, and yellow.
We noticed these things,
when the firing stopped and we had respite.
It was good to feel,
during such moments,
that we were human beings once more,
delighting in little things,
in just being human.

It’s Greece

It’s Greece. It’s been confirmed. But where
the hell is Greece? Patu wants to know.
He’s ignorant, never got past Standard 6 —
his dad couldn’t spare him — had to get up
at 6, milk the cows, and after milking
do all the other chores. ‘Greece,’ I tell him,
‘is close to Gallipoli,’ and his eyes light up.
He knows the name, because his Uncle Ru
died there, fighting the Turks. We agree
that anywhere is better than being here
at Amiriya, buggered by route marches,
plagued by flies, heat and sand — sand blowing
everywhere. But the pyramids, my God!
A million slaves died building them, they say.
They are indeed great marvels, but give me
Hikurangi any day. ‘We go to Greece,’
says Freyberg, ‘to defend the birth place
of culture and learning,’ and it gets me
wondering why I’m here at all so far
from my run-down farm, my sick people,
and a meeting-house in need of repair.

the day after yesterday

I went to a poetry reading last night. I don't get to go often now because they hold them on Wednesday night and I work on Wednesdays. It was nice to go and listen to some poetry again, although I don't much like to listen to poetry. I prefer to read it to myself. When I listen to somebody read their poems I find it very hard to stay with the reading. My attention always wanders off in the middle of the poem, unless it's very short, and I lose the sense of the poem. I think a lot of the subtlety and nuance you find on the page is lost in a reading. Also I find other people's voices intrude over my own. Tsk tsk, lol.

But I quite like to go to the poetry group meetings just because it's nice to meet some people in my city who also write poems. Last night I got to hear one woman poet who I thought was really good and really enjoyed, and another who just blew my socks off! This almost never happens, but her poetry was just WOW! I felt jealous that I hadn't written her poem. It was awesome. Today I'm trying to think of ways to get to know her, or at least ways to read more of her words. Very cool. I haven't been this excited about poetry for ages.
I also found a book of poems last night that I'm positively lusting after and am determined to buy as soon as I can. It's a book by a NZ poet named Alistair Te Ariki Campbell:

OMG! STUNNING! Simply delicious words!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lovesongs in Early March

Your love has a faint foreign accent,
like a song by Bic Runga -
gentle armchair,
lilted star,
sweet and high -
impossible swing.

The machinery of flesh spins
caves and tunnels full of sand
where we bury our heads.

Your hair flows over me
like a dark road through the night.
Lead on until morning
as the gradual day brings us home,
bound by gravity to the blue axminster,

its woolly daisies,
love me,
love me not,
shedding petals.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Called from sleep by spirits
I woke to the sound of your name.
I am afraid to know if this is a portent
of some momentous event,
or merely dreamland dementia.

You are the morning star,
glow of rose rising from the ocean
as day opens.

Sparks of alchemy swirl in your eyes
as you awaken, and I am awakened
by the call of your name,
like the sound of a hundred people
kneeling in the dust to pray.

Your pursuit of inner galaxies
and belief in things not yet beheld
will light the way, just as Dawn
lights the day.