new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow


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Giotto’s Elephant

So
exquisitely
grand

the
large
way

he waits
so
quietly

swinging
over the
fairground

grassy air
his snout
you might

think
he is
praying

or just
ordinarily
at rest

So what
did you say
under that

Big Top
Circus
of the Sun?

Did you say
his body
resembles

a huge
stuffed
bird?

That he is
possibly
even a

she-camel
waiting
inside

painting
inside the
painter

the light
of the body
is the eye

You ask
what happened to
Giotto’s elephant?

Not an answer
is always 2
a question

the riddle
does not exist
if you are

listening
to the silence
buried in

sound, the
great hole
behind words

such
intimate
the space

what we
see we are:
say that, also.


From Giotto’s Elephant (John McIndoe, 1991)
Michael Harlow



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Last updated 24 March, 2005