new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow

online works

Ecclesiastical ‘body count’

On Sundays he shines
he tells his beads
he loves his wife
he tidies up the sin of innuendo & amen

he does not talk of his flock
or which cosmic hierarchies are mysterious
it’s ‘body count’ he worries
he weaves phrase & prayer for all occasion
my son thinks he is conducting

each Sunday we count him holy
hard, Lord, not to:
as non-denominational as wood he is ours
planning tomorrow’s numbers.


From Today is the Piano’s Birthday   (Auckland/Oxford UP, 1981)

Michael Harlow

Last updated 20 March, 2005