new zealand electronic poetry centre

Michael Harlow

online works


The Nannies Are Coming!

What do the tanks know, dreaming
at night under a full moon or none?
Idle in their slots, design parades.

Their devices are intact: swivel heads
scattering birds, visions of coughing
up shells, they purr in earnest.

As prams they are remodelled
for nestling under the Acropolis,
strolling the esplanade in Rio.

The nannies are coming. Let it
be said: they are for détente.
They’ve caught on. Prime targets

for surprise, they are moving into
the backyards of our town – glow
under the greatcoats of our generals,

making slight invasions to the center
of our sleep. They polish their treads
under the dark in yards of iron.

Collecting landscapes to whine through,
they hum themselves to sleep;
they are counting people.

From Events, Greece 1967–1974 (Anglo-Hellenic Publishing, 1975)

Michael Harlow

Last updated 20 March, 2005