Pukapuka Books


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Pukapuka Poem #29 - Michael O'Leary

Foreshore in Black and White                        

Paekakariki Images: dripping from the mad dog’s eye


darkening skies

equalled by the darkening earth

a cliff-side disappears inside

a rusty rail

a tree grows out of a re-treaded pile

black, white, grey

the colours of the day


parallel to the sea and sky horizon

jutting out above the lapping, lolling waves

a branch of an ancient fallen tree

emulates the also jutting land

-         a little bird sits comically, looking

back to the shore from the tip of the elongated wooden finger


elemental, old as the hills, enchanted

dancing sunlight on water

thick-jointed, a long extinct life form

the perfect line between sea and sky

reveals there is no question why?


a city stands

De Cherico-like

in sands

and surreal


approximating straight lines

against the curves

of nature and time

rust and water and wind-smoothed wood

explode into splinters

which join the shifting

hills and sands

of time . . .


clouds dance

twisted tires

and broken iron

point skywards

in a pirouette

of silent passion

chips off old blocks

witness, as audiences do

the movement of impermanence


the quiet, semi-sinister


sits alone

looking seaward

surrounded by sand

and scattered driftwood fragments

of life on the floor

the breakers roll in

roll in, roll in

raw, but never weaken

only tire

the one who watches

from a wooden



monolithic, statue-like creatures

stand, as though the first dawn

had just broken

the great brightness of black

and white illumination

the darkness of Polynesia

and the slither of light

along the line of sea-sky

circling and shadowing the

heavy and ethereal formations

in the sky and on the land

the sea also sends echoes

as though nothing has been quite born yet . . . 

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