Triangulating the Tasman
(i) Warwick, NY
A point has no dimension: the bird in flight across the field
describes a line, but does not exist anywhere on that line.
The cardinal is a red point, the jay a blue.
Here, everything is contained in the immensity of the present.
When we leave for the airport, in anticipation,
with regret, we enter time.
(ii) Talbot, Vic
Atop our ancient volcano, we are cleansed by the heat
of January—pasturized, as a poet put it.
The agisted sheep gnaw the ground, but the grass is eternal.
We name the mountains around us, ignorant of their true ones.
The windmills to the southwest, the new horizon, have no names.
We do not want to leave here, which is the point of coming.
(iii) Kawhia, Waikato
In the afternoon, Carmen sits and drums on a log:
all the cows gather to watch her. We focus on this one moment.
What are the pearls on your necklace, the figures on your torq?
At the heart of travel is blood and family ties.
How much are you willing to pay for what you want?
In leaving, what we leave behind we hope is a gift, not a sorrow.
(iv) New York
‘Get out of my terminal!’ shouts the cop at JFK.
It’s all street theater here, and underneath, on the E line.
‘What’s the point of travel?’ we ask. Three lines to three places,
only to do it all over again.
The red-tail hawk, with its speckled breast, makes one crashing dive
to carry off the sparrow on the railing.
How pointless can it be, when our lives describe a triangle,
while we find ourselves at home at the center of ourselves?