new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

The Desolate Star And Other Poems


We two are ghosts; lightly we walk for ever, 
Through azure twilight, through young silver rain. . . . 
(There was an ominous dream that stooped; again 
Its black wings beat; its harsh voice echoed. “Never!”

Its cold lips cried, “My hand has broken up 
The pattern of your rainbow — all the bright 
Translucent colours, all the tender light 
Like bubbles prisoned in an opal cup,

Spilled on grey soil, that grows not even flowers.”)
Now the slim bluegums strain against the wind.
A dark hill climbs before us; and behind
Night builds her secret town, her dreaming towers.

So well we know the hidden way . . . and ghosts,
Come home to earth, are free of weariness.
Say, did the little unseen grasses press
Your feet so kindly, on those starry coasts?

But let this hour be earth’s! Ah, let the scent
Of cold young crescent leaves creep through my hair!
Lie still at last, feel faintly beating near
The heart of the friendly world! Be well content

With this beloved touch of grass and dew. . . .
What unfamiliar music holds the night?
See the stars trail like jewelled birds their bright
Pinions of flame, on that same sky we knew.

If there be change, it lies in us. And yet,
As of old years, caught close to you, the glow
Of joy like dawning takes me. Scarce I know
Why words are broken, eyes and faces wet.

Look not too far, in purple sky and sea.
For where the waves creep outward with the tide 
There waits a mist, and strangeness — all the wide 
Ocean of space, to sever you and me.


Last updated 17 February, 2003