new zealand electronic poetry centre

B R I A N   F L A H E R T Y


Fresh Dates


We dream others who dream us in turn stopped in the market the ancient Street of Birds we are frisked pretend ignorance when they discover illegal notes glued into my shoe plaited in your hair beneath the crow-black chador

An alien in the blood, disjoint and disjointing I have fallen from high office rifling ships’ papers the logorithmic windshifts monochrome moon sated my eyes with the pomp of your city this precious crust performing the ritual duty this wild saints' day

I dine on fresh dates and camels milk sleep in spite of the sandflies with my saddle as my pillow my horse tethered fore and aft a rope from the halter round my hand lest it should be stolen my revolver under my head

Red and white events the entire length of the demon you are selecting burial plots countess on your arm betting on the rain a beauty from life’s early shift grown plump drives a hardwood bargain her kohled eyes demanding safety in whole numbers

In the valleys here and there are great beds of wild narcissus my men like Persians bend low to their stirrups to smell as they ride slowly through

From the Mountain of God hot lava hornitos bright flowers forced upon night riding on the wings of invocation desert pilgrims grown paper dry we seek eternal message press entreaties for rain cattle children sniffing dark cloves chewing the faith

The date harvest drawing to a close baghalas and dhows have come up the river to load a hundred rifles a mule or two in nights dead centre lapis blue and heady with spice this campaign ordained by the faith of armed believers

In the heart of the world too soon dismissed I cannot enter her house apostle of motion my wind-chopped eyes as a strangers I am disguised the mouth of the river silting with spice I must return home dedicate myself to the work I cannot enter her house








Last updated 10 May, 2006