The morning did what mornings do, left us
alone – although ‘us’ implies some consolation
from gossip, hugs, love of the common. But no
each perception is private, essential, isolating
like a poem, I thought, walking towards
the courtyard. Already I saw the scaffold.
Between, that is where the poem grows…
A negotiator playing both sides:
the visible, the invisible.
Only the invisible owns every thing.
We measure the seen. The invisible, then.
And that spider.
After you said everything there was more.
Your sentence was not long enough.
The thing a word touches becomes less
tangible, nowhere near the world you know.
As if it was going to fit inside your head.
As if the lake and the lake’s reflections
included you. Everything said meant nothing
once the duck steadied itself and landed
leaving this sentence on the surface.
The role of the model
Touch your shadow and you
touch your self.
On your fingers mica, under each nail
the thread of a sail, the memory
there is a horizon
for every wind. As God is your witness
one among many. Break
bread as if you were declaring war
that shadow you move for
bitter as a blood-blister upon the lip
and hard, so hard.
ABOUT THE POET
David Howard spent thirty-five years compiling one book: The Incomplete Poems (Cold Hub Press, 2011). He is a winner of the Gordon & Gotch Poetry Award, the New Zealand Poetry Society Competition, the New Zealand Society of Authors Mid-Career Writers Award, and the University of South Pacific Press Poetry Prize. David held the Robert Burns Fellowship 2013 at Otago University.