Spring 2017

2018

2017

Three poems from Vanishing Points

By Michele Leggott

Tom Moody
© Tom Moody

carina   /   the keel

*

Macoute slips off the wall and rests
a moment on one of the leather chairs below
the flag     he’s got swallows on the wire
KERERŪ AEROBATICS above the cliff
and his own white noise to insert
between the London planes     he is the tree
in the view he holds up one arm
against the falling sun he is the child
you caught on the print the plan scribbled
once on the back of an envelope     TŪĪ WINGBEAT
over the house where Macoute sits thinking
in a leather chair and above him
a white space     sand in the footbath
whisky under the stars
Macoute has long ears but he cannot
always see where he is going and tonight
will bring the Geminids overhead
in a dark sky without a trace of light
twenty-two steps to the door     six between
door and throughway     nine from the bed
to the back door     count them and be sure
use your hands and your feet     Macoute
down from the wall and moving silently
among the sleepers in the house


*

chamaeleon   /   the chameleon

*

lizard fingers enter the house     saying
you drew me out of darkness     you set me against
the evening sky     I flutter I tremble
my tail is the lost curve of the kiore moana
the little horse in flight     the tin fish by the window
and clearest of all     mirror image of my hand
in silhouette     dreamed out of darkness
and the voices of children a long way off     singing
MICHAEL ROW THE BOAT ASHORE
the river the estuary the mudflats
lizard and seahorse     you drew me out of darkness
SISTER HELP TO TRIM THE SAILS

*


*

telescopium   /   the telescope

*

a notebook carried through the forest
a notebook kept in a saddle bag
a notebook close to a candle flame
a notebook taken over the river
a notebook looked at from the other side
a notebook humming
a notebook consulted a notebook put aside
a notebook set down in a clearing
a notebook taken up with praise
a notebook counting in twelves
constitutive of bush honey and the lunar rainbow
a notebook translated a notebook compared
a notebook carried to the library

About Michele Leggott

Michele Leggott lectures in poetry at the University of Auckland, where she also coordinates the New Zealand Electronic Poetry Centre (nzepc). In 2008, Michele became New Zealand's first Poet Laureate, and in 2013 she received the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry.

'carina / the keel', 'chamaeleon / the chameleon', and 'telescopium / the telescope' can be found in Vanishing Points (AUP, 2017), Michele's most recent collection.