new zealand electronic poetry centre

John Puhiatau Pule

online works

From ‘Thirty Songs of Love and Life by the Nineteenth-Century Poet Tomai, of Liku’
in The Shark That Ate the Sun (Penguin, 1992)

when your father chased me from your window
he also threw stones and the bruises
are here, on my back and neck
so now you must meet me on the road
halfway to the waterhole, where the sound
of forest animals hides our meeting
I am waiting and the moon has come and gone
the birds are falling out of the trees
as their dreams are oceanic and festive
so I lay down and slept to trick time but
I lose as my arms are hollow as the night  

so I make my way like a worm to your window
and work my way through the shadows to
look into your room and there you are
your face buried in harmony
I throw a leaf that hits your mouth
I flick a pebble but it sings on the floor
I try a song to move your eyes to open
my heart is loud and forgets silence
I call out, reach in and take off the tapa
I look at the church and the night
I climb in and then you awake when
my hands are silent like ants
our movements occupy the heat
and the walls are restless ears
bless the earth
earth is hard soft shiny like the moon


John Pule

Last updated 25 September, 2005