new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow

online works


‘say simply a kind of perfection'

for robert lax

how they curve inward & outward
stringing nets threading talk
& curls of smoke, stories that pull
against the shore as the sea does
curving inward & outward being
themselves tailors under vines
spidery behind nets some tattoo
the light others trace a horizon,
heft of the sea, listening to talk
& watching the light carried, an arm
raised to stitch another break –
the nets later bundled into boats &
bulked against the same dark promises
the sea was quick to promise, they push
across the arc of bay curving outward
certain themselves what they are acting
out, sureness of it, measured as breathing
easing spaces of sea, they go marking,
‘say simply a kind of perfection.’


From Edges (Athens: Lycabettus Press, 1974)

Michael Harlow

Last updated 20 March, 2005