January 2017

New Year dawning
my mind reassembles
the sound of light
dead - alive
astride a whiplash
of silence

notes towards an end

always now
before it has a name
morning light

does it live
the other I think
in the word

vital signs
the form conforms
to the word

eye to eye
what comes to pass
with a yes

no room now
light without end
fills the night

to be
what is hidden
and seen


Otata 13 - January 2017

a sequence for my daughter

jigsaw child
fitting words
fall together

only this
the flicker of blood
barely glimpsed

singled out
by silence
our mutable feast

in the world
if only of it
daughter buffalo

what has no voice
daughter of mine

midsummer night
the moon hangs about
like a suicide

heaven-sent . . .
vernix enfolds the word
whispered in doubt

my heartbeat
on mesolithic time
once more

advent silence
speaking our language

open hand . . .
her call curls out from
the unheard

am I to be the words no more

awake again . . .
has dawn recreated
the am I was?

still us –
sounds aflutter
enter the light

dead silence . . .
an ancestral wisdom
in so few words

still life . . .
all my colours
from dusk

night falls on
night falling on
a dark sea

grave silence –
a distant fantail
barely heard

midnight hunt . . .
every pulse pledged
to the prey

up, down
a leaf adrift
or not

after rain too
the sea has no colour
of its own

moonlit sea
bound to me in this ditch
of ownership

pond ripple . . .
the one I am
no more


a child washes away
from her death

plagued by silence
a ruru mimics the sound
of the dark night

a cicada
clings to silence

no more mind
just the ebb and flow
of a sea

on manicured lawns
Sappho's ashes

as it falls
the intonation
of the night

swollen night
the pre-cum of dawn
bends a leaf

sultry night
my birthplace rattles
its chains

with age
the deepening pallor
of the moon

an imprint
of Hiroshima
shadows me

news of war
teens eye their figures
up and down

in the awe
overspilling her eyes
our smallness

new notebook
an abyss yawns open
to my voice

the darkness
of my mood
colours the toast

DT shakes
the cold-turkey of

eye to eye
the bottom line
still there

before me
a future who's who
of non-being

a lisp
lip thinking

a sea breeze
encrypts messages
from the edge

the wind
winds up
a cat

less of more
the stream entered
more than once

forget them
lest these very words
linger on

my shadow
in the shadow
of no-self

ever present –
is this too to be
our pretense?

it is here
a vacancy of sky
and now
a bird

now here in a nick in time

fog bound feel for the real



good news in the ends of now



in becoming the loss of now

from Light Verse (a work in progress)

before light
when to be
is just that

in darkness
a candle

let there be . . .
ta ta ta
strike the flint

for now
a spark
just that

Saroyan's candle

night breeze —
the sound of light
on a wick

the light
that lies
in words

a candle deifynes the darkness

wormhole trip . . .
my shadow and I
splice genes

on a narrow road
to the heart of the moment
before time began


insomnia . . .
I yawn my way through
some parallel dimension

inaugural flight
the eagle switches to
autocratic pilot

paper cranes . . .
I bend time and space
a thousand times


the reflections
of an alien species
out of my mind

eye contact . . .
particles appear smaller
than their wavelengths


n! = (by
olfactorial equations)
the rose known


a snail practices
our absence

alive - dead
astride a whiplash
of silence


windy day -
stretching the truth
across clouds


ululations of immortality





olive stone -
a mass surveillance branch
all but snowed in


Why was he looking up at the night sky?

In the frost-crisped night of central Taranaki, when light was evanescent at best, he foot-crunched through a paddock to exteriorise the dark that had been suffusing him.

What filled the night sky at that moment?

Just stars. So cold was the air that the darkness was clear and starlight was breath-held in its stillness. The Southern Cross was risen there. Night-dew christened his beard.

Was he seen?

None knew of his presence there let alone the nature or length of his existence.

What could he see?

Only a chill arc of stars, a rainbow of night, creating its own light out of nothing.

Why the tear?

Because he could see as he is seen.

Did this precipitate any change?

He was strengthened to endure all that is still to come.

Will he depict that night in words for others to see?

He will learn how to do without words.


at the end
the beginning
of the end


Midnight mumbles with an ancient ache as you lower yourself into the movement not yours. The hour's stillness lurches with the vibrations of the cottage’s contortions at each joint. The rise and fall of the floor against your weight pulls against the former cling of place.

Man, you are here to oscillate as the reed in the wind does! The familiar disappears — a brief candle lit against the sound and sway of what snuffs it out. Feel it — back and forth — your breath cradled in the wrack and roar of foot-falls against rising shadow — vertigo that does not lessen with a shake of your head. It is here now - the mind failure that shakes off the words that once made sense.

enfolds the roots
wrenched bare


"My eyes have been squinting."
"All three?"
"One after another."

gallows pole
a wind chime hangs
on each word