new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow

online works


Opening the Book

Dear savants, I know
you are maestros of the mind
but are you sure?
                              Such certitude
is hard work and tires me out.
Do you feel it too, sometimes?

All this galloping about, your
rackety assurances the old coat
and stiff boots, the honourable
Sir of Reason is not to be, as you
say, trifled with.
                             I mean have you
considered that everywhere
a local event, gravity is nowhere
to be seen?
                    And those stories as old
as the story before the story – how
they keep returning to make the
invisible, visible.
                            Well, opening
the book, we are happy to know
that everywhere apples are falling
to the earth with all their natural
desire to arrive.
                           And there is
no measure called for, after all
‘Earth’s the right place for love’.

When I say I want, it is I think
the world wants in me; here is a place
where words can dream again and become
what first they imagined themselves
to be.
           Above is
below – what lies behind
the eye, ‘from this the poem springs’.




From Cassandra’s Daughter (Auckland UP, 2005)
Michael Harlow

Last updated 24 March, 2005