new zealand electronic poetry centre

Paula Green

online works

Two Minutes Westward

We take ourselves like mountain goats up the muddy
track, cloud before rock, rock before flax because
in the stillness we find the noise of an ocean
sinking roots sunk fierce
into how to be westward.
Westcoast skin.   Westcoast blood.   Westcoast bone.  
Stepping into this sweet cyclone of silence
we are pinned to the inlet cool and spare
like a roving eye
disappearing and feeding on heavenly wings
halfway to paradise
with a divine map for romance
those perspiring sonnets and me doubled back
laughing like death.
This is high and on the edge
vertigo looping the Te Henga cliff tops
behind us a flower might blossom
a musical note might flare
but one thing’s for sure
here on cold mornings
here where love is snacking
the risk of heights punctuates
a risk we take
our heartbeats startled at the startled kereru.
A word for his skin
a word for his bone
a word for his blood
then memory steadies the erring waterfall
the white plume of the heron all dried up.
Still I keep the ancient preserve of kauri
stuck in my guts
some kind of brace
because I will hurl
all the old figures over the edge
in one foul swoop
down there into the seething
steaming black sanded
heart of the west coast sea.
Holding his hand at midnight
beneath the starry sky
I will try and let Ulysses loose
and Virgil’s honey tongued
ritorniamo nel chiaro mondo?
Vediamo le cose belle
che porta il cielo?
Holding his hand at midnight and kissing those
amber lips here in the light belief
that a word will dig the pit
for the featherweight myth.
Turn your head my dearest to the left
stand still and hear the droning brook
or the otherwhere hum of the bee.
Still.   Stand still.   Turn your ear to the right
and hear the wind rubbing across the track
a pocket of nectar and linseed oil
pressing against my spine.
Would we take a boat home
across the wild comfort?

Paula Green

Last updated 7 August, 2005