new zealand electronic poetry centre

R O G E R    B O Y C E

Getting The Picture

The grotto drawing you back
in your mind’s eye,
is penciled in just enough
to get the picture.
A loosely rendered girl,
sitting on the sand to your right,
strikes a pose and waits, for you
to do something with that thing in your lap.
In the near future, as a matter of fact,
somewhere just ahead, flames lick
the collected works of Pope
behind a caravan’s buckling walls.
Inexhaustible foot-candles,
fueled by your exploding home,
light up a colonnade of pines
running down a lightless forest road.
Now, the further you walk away,
from the heat, the light,
the worse things get.
Put simply, you are in a bad way.
Having said that, you winter over
on the mountain with your women.
The lot of you, put up
by a Lucky Friday miner.
One after another,
in the narrowing vein of the season,
the girls give it up – trade,
their favors for a broken promise.
Dug up, one drunken evening,
from the bottom of a hope-chest,
and lost for all time
to the miner’s buried wife.


Last updated 26 April, 2006