November 2017

All Saints' Day
a kererū and I
in full flight

a speech bubble comes up for air

All Saints Day
into the cerulean blue
we yield our breath

All Saints' Day
a nit-picker picks away
at my seems

All Souls Day
another year's build-up
of absences

in a solar wind
our attraction

dragonfly and i
each glances off
the other

cracking their cheeks
winds whip up hurricanes
through Lear's wits

through the slap-slap
of windscreen wipers
spring rain

passing faith
candle to candle
rite of spring

a mountain spring
flows into
its defloration

spring shower
darkness becomes

in spring rain
a terrible silence
held at bay

new green leaves
a terrible beauty
is born

open window
I direct a bee
back to work

season change
a bumblebee
does its part


by the gods
my life with bees

spring rain
all is forgiven
at one fell swoop

spring rain
all is forgiven
at one fell swoop

spring rain
all so intimate
without words

a reed
in the wind sounding
atonal repenitance

morning mist
the breath of another
seems to appear

my shadow
takes up the space
where i was

amateur hour
while a poet writes
the pine sighs

Kiss of Life
I started breathing early in life and have grown more than a little attached to it. You could say that we are inseparable companions in the same manner as my heart beat and my shadow are inseparable from me although my shadow is somewhat more so.
In my earlier days a latent tuberculosis infection sought to wrest that from me with far less success than later episodes of laryngospasm and more recently asthma.
The wordiness of my earlier writings elude my ability to read them aloud without resorting to frequently audible in-gasps. 
Haiku has offered a solution fitting comfortably with one breath cycle cut sometimes with an in-gasp that can slot within the rhythmic space.
word surfing:
the ebb and flow
of the spirit

just like that
your miracle of being
made no more.

heaven scent in flower flow

love all over the world out of steam

all senses
piercing my brain
with day

yet again
a butterfly cheapened
by a "moment"

All the Days of the Dead and Dying


At seven, as the firstborn child of a physically and socially isolated post-war family in rural New Zealand, I cradled nightly the overarching vastness of the stars to bed with me; a stone I clung to through the infinity of space and time that stretched between wakefulness and sleep.

Filled with the universe, I would await sleep by trying to image the silence of total absence before the universe gained an existing presence. Nothing - no space, no time, no light, the total absence of everything - strained to take conceptual form within my childhood brain. Absence of light was easy but then I battered my mind against an easily imaged darkness but without form. Was it cubic, conical or spherical? Space requires boundaries. Can nothing be contained? But to be contained within one of these necessitated form and surely the void has no form and thus cannot change.

For hours I would lie in no-sleep trying to come to terms with an infinite sphere with no centre and no circumference until my being slipped into that place which was no-place.

Many years later I would read Jorge Luis Borges' essay "The Fearful Sphere of Pascal" in which the author explored the possibility "that universal history is the history of a handful of metaphors." Giordano Bruno, for instance, would come to state exultantly in 1584 "We can assert with certitude that the universe is all center, or that the center of the universe is everywhere and the circumference nowhere". Borges then suggested that Pascal would darken this image with the words "Nature is a fearful sphere, whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere."

Stephen Hawking later misrepresented that Pope John Paul II had said to him “It’s OK to study the universe and where it began. But we should not inquire into the beginning itself because that was the moment of creation and the work of God.”

Valuing the omnipotent reach of physics and mathematics, Hawking and associates have continued to explore the applicability of quantum theory to the instant before time and space came into being at the big bang. (I continue to struggle with the idea that the beginning can have a "before".) They came up with a model of the big bang according to the theory of general relativity that was developed to take into account quantum effects which they called the No Boundary Proposal.

The words the Pope actually addressed to Hawking were "Any scientific hypothesis on the origin of the world, such as the hypothesis of a primitive atom from which derived the whole of the physical universe, leaves open the problem concerning the universe’s beginning. Science cannot of itself solve this question: there is needed that human knowledge that rises above physics and astrophysics and which is called metaphysics; there is needed above all the knowledge that comes from God’s revelation."

with one last breath
nothing slips out of
the universe

free world through the fog of militant benevolence

off-shore breeze
seagulls gather around

ice ages a geologist's skin

manhood under the guise of a geyser

spring draws to an end
the touch
her hands in mine

ahead of me
the drowning man
at my heels

murmuring shells
when prophecy breaks down
into static

a disintergrative dearth
her myrrh
embalms for now
the murmur
in healthy balance
hear the word
her need
(indeed only one)
she pours over 
the word
one death ends
with a word 
for its tomb
the word 'poor' always
and the word to be 
no more
among us
a word dies 
because it does not die
on her lips
of itself
the skin of words
sleep in-turning death's portal

tongues of fire
lick me back to when
i was without

november dusk
the heat of the day
an afterglow

a match struck
against the darkness —
dawn awakening

of end times the hearth flicker in earthen hearts

the poet


the poet dwells
at a safe distance
from words

the poet
pussyfoots around
the utter brink

the poet paces out
the sound of space

the poet
hot off the press
goes silent

the poet goes
between breaths

the poet
pads out
the silences

the poet
lipsynchs his reflection
in tranquility

the poet
skirts the edges
of relevance

the poet
rattles off
his mortal coil

the poet at home
with the loneliness
of a long-distance runner

the poet
scratches the imagined limits
of his horizons

the poet
his nest egg

the poet
measures his success
in tossed panties

the poet loses
his daytime job
to the moon

the poet quickens
to the sound
of his own voice

the poet
strikes a pose
off its pedestal

the poet
plays out
the party line

the poet weeps
as sound and sense end
his abstinence

the poet
a moment

the poet
loses himself
in his words

evening sun
the cosmos carries a torch
for her footfall

That Than Which


Without the creation of a word to name it in the late sixteenth century, did the doctrine or belief that there is no God have existence? What prompted the active rejection of God leading to the refusal to believe in that than which no greater can be conceived  let alone have the ability to even conceive of a being greater than oneself at all? Was it the hubris of an impatient heir on the brink of committing parricide?

Some three hundred years after the word was created Friedrich Nietzche proclaimed "God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

A self-avowed atheist, did Nietzche mean that there was once a God who had actually died, or rather that the collective idea of one had? Following the so-named Enlightenment, the idea of a universe entirely subject to laws of physics instead of divine providence was now reality. Philosophical discourse had shown that governments did not need to be based around the idea of divine right to be legitimate, but rather formed by the rational consent of the governed — that it was possible to develop a full-scale and consistent human morality without reference to God. It seemed that the human adventure no longer needed God as the source for all morality, value, or order in the universe; philosophy and science now seemed capable of doing that for us.

Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design states "M-Theory predicts that a great many universes were created out of nothing. Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god. Rather these multiple universes arise naturally from physical law. .... Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

Are we the words we make flesh from?

my shadow follows
the sun to the edge
of the earth

moon in the clouds
my best poker face
lost in translation

after pissing
on the trumperor's parade
so much water under the bridge

why fuss so, cicada?
my imago must be
four times yours

her lavalava
colours Sale'aula's field —
the lingering heat

cow cockies spark off
each other

her earth mound
new for only a day
or two

epitaph granite faced to the end

still water
the night heavy
over itself

extinct shadows
re-enact the thrill
of the hunt

in shadows
my search for words
to be ignored

open grave doubts about life

wide-eyed world woven with webbing

light to read the directions of mist by

a sign where the circle ends

dry creek bed
face to face with
my extinction

from nowhere
a wave overshadows
the last rock-pool

merciful wind —
bruised reeds are unbroken
and flax flower

core alone on the tundra

all at once
some pumice bobs up
from the past

in the east
ranges croak up

rainbow warrior —
a zodiac boat prowls
through the stars

moon in mist —
a momentary glimpse
through my doubt