new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow

online works


The war of course is elsewhere
for Hugh Lauder

In a year of terrors
we play the complete
game of disappearance
and return: we draw maps
and colour out the world;
with blocks we raise towers
for invisible cities, and
watch them fall. The war
of course is elsewhere;
we stay home listening for
the innocence of children
that stills the heart.
We imagine we are Athenian
wives; we lie rigid in the
dark, waiting for tumbrels
down the road. We are in
urgent need of information;
the war of course is elsewhere.
By nightfall you can hear
it humming on the street;
in hands that return home
tearing light from the
throats of doors.

From Vlaminck’s Tie (Auckland/Oxford UP, 1985)
Michael Harlow

Last updated 24 March, 2005