new zealand electronic poetry centre


Kendrick Smithyman

online works


Father leaned and read. He didn't know
he was overheard. "In our family
we have had sailors, soldiers, lawyers and parsons.
We have never had a goddam poet,"
                                     sighing heftily.

He went into the garden,
sat himself, arranging his game leg,
sowing peas. Whenever he sowed seeds like that
he whistled 'O promise me that someday
you'll be mine' between times swearing
at our black and tan bitch in Afrikaans
or maybe just a bit of Spanish.

He didn't guess he might be wrong,
on Grandmother's side a long time back,
could have been singing Hast thou seen
but a bright lily grow Before rude hands
have touch'd it? Have you marked the fall
of the snow or have
                               I got it wrong
stoutly bringing up the rear


Last updated 13 December, 2002