November 2015

Writer's Block
From the blank page of the Unknown Poet, these words echo back in stony rebuke: 
"Some things are best left unsaid and this, being my last, is one of them."
The reader, taken aback, takes the poet to task. "Again you repeat the irrelevance of words amid the ocean's roar as we navigate the beach's darkness by the light of the stars.  What is the meaning again of this coincidence of place?"
this and that
The Unknown Poet quotes gravely at last:
        Voices, voices. Listen my heart, as only saints
have listened: until the gigantic call lifted them
clear off the ground. Yet they went on, impossibly,
kneeling, completely unawares: so intense was
their listening. Not that you could endure
the voice of God -far from it! But listen
to the voice of the wind and the ceaseless message
that forms itself out of silence.
As dawn comes upon the reader the following words come to mind:
          It was her voice that made   
The sky acutest at its vanishing.   
She measured to the hour its solitude.   
She was the single artificer of the world
In which she sang. And when she sang, the sea,   
Whatever self it had, became the self
That was her song, for she was the maker. Then we,   
As we beheld her striding there alone,
Knew that there never was a world for her   
Except the one she sang and, singing, made.
doomed to repeat
"Why?" he wails. "Why must the singing end? What are the order of words that give such flesh to the song?"
this and that
            along the strand 
crab bubbles
here and there
- First Duino Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke (tr.Albert Ernest Flemming)
- The Idea of Order at Key West by Wallace Stevens
All Saints Day—
tonight my vision becomes
river fog
taniwhas all around
the feeling of me
morning chant
the very earth moves
in a haka
floating world
a fata morgana
cresting dawn
twilight hush
my cosmological vision
awaiting stars
All Souls Day
the combatants tally up
their losses
All Souls Day
silence lingers long after
the loss of words
November sojourn—
impermanence becoming
a medley of clouds
word by word
breath-strokes mirroring
illusions of self

spring afternoon flushed with aloneness

in darkness
another cosmos
spills its guts

a raven itself or my making of it

mirror maze my lineage of names

awake at dawn 
I touchscreen my timeline
into being
charting stars
I learn once more
how to howl

war against my better nature

oiling the wheels of the tide

mother martyr to the fecund dark

friday thirteenth
terror remains captive
in human hearts

left without another cheek to turn 

come, O dogs of war
pave deserts and boulevards 
with our eyes and teeth

retaliate a tale again retold

swan wakes
cross shadows
rere tuatahi
ko aku kupu 
toku ohooho
first flight
my words are
my awakening

long white cloud of self unknowing

midnight tide
the tug 
of the moon
as one
hearts of darkness
beating drums
with this moon
forever is lost
in the moment
ancestral grounds
playing fields of mist
with the dead
musty diary
the you who now 
no one knows
breath forget
slow infolding
word by word
of no return
wind-tossed tern
waiting in the wings
what is to come

light lessens in half-lives

facebook time
each day stretches 
into two

ever a moebius strip tease

iv drip from a klein bottle

bird song
moonlit street
here too
I am
all the elms
leaf through once more
tales of loss
midnight tide
the tug of the moon
on my eyeballs
in darkness
the ebb and flow
of vision

without the moon through a window

Dawn Chorus
the end
of night
in sound
in song
en of words

Akatarawa Cemetery


About 30 years ago I had a significant dream of a cemetery through which I wandered with an amazing sense of peace and well-being. The sense of space and life lived deeply has remained with me although the only visual remnant from the dream is a memory of the entrance. I took this dream to be a presentiment of where I would one day be buried, although I did not know if the place actually existed.

About 8 years ago I moved to Upper Hutt from the coast. One day, as I drove into the forest ranges bounding this upper valley, I was startled to recognise the cemetery entrance of my dream.

Yesterday, All Souls Day, I entered this cemetery for the first time to keep vigil for an hour or so with all the bodies, which once breathed, occupied space, and moved among us, and now, motionless, fill a more localised earth-space.

All Souls Day—
silence lingers long after
the loss of words