new zealand electronic poetry centre

P A U L    H A R D A C R E


and of certain rivers

“Then she, seeing me gaze at her in wonder, and
realising that my only delight was to feed upon her
indescribable beauty, said, “Pilgrim, put those
speculations aside, and follow me; if you wish
to complete your voyage.’”
– The Nymph ‘Royal Ordinary’ to Giovanni Battista Nazari,
Three Dreams On the Transmutation of Metals
“The fruit which I have brought forth
is the ‘Sun.’”
– Isis

buried cross & flower skin she digs
the winds her styx a bushy love of
eyes the red dirt heart she sniffs for
sunset beauty coats of skin he fell
with mandrake soft & shaped a raven
none might hear a plate of hair her
meal of birds a swan & uptil night a
cock the year of iron veiled & salt the
central salt the wings a metal leaf his art
of starry robe a silent sun or snake behind
her head to rise she points to paths to stars
& wheaten breasts & helpless under foot
adores the cup the trickling spear or face &
in each curl the locks & into worlds a lion
rampant deer with lights he groans by line
& circle earth on spiny leaves & water filled
with burrs & burning enters it to die her shell-
like mouth a fruit with dolphin handles beaked an
ancient ship or gilded tongue inside her fluted niche

storm bones, sea

“Sleep is an unripe fruit of death.   A dream is an unripe
fruit of prophecy.   The globe of the sun is an unripe fruit
of the supernal light.”
– Bereshit Rabbah 17:5
“Go round the world and roar like a lion!”
– Sage Yogaswami (to Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami)

whitesnake hair he sits in one more
sun & furs all black into the hills his cave
& to the sea the guest of men takes rice &
curds he speeds & is perfected as a corpse
concealing grace or into sparks to splinter
days & rise his ancient thread-thin ray of love
he drives a donkey timbrels flutes & harps a
road a sky-gauge span & messengers of winds
of man is old or is a serpent close to sunset
stands his mouth as earth or white & ruddy
tree & joined to days like flame to burning
coal to blue-green beryl eyes he bakes on
stones as light all dark from shining black &
summer opened blue to rise like cakes of oil
& wheat he kissed of oil & words of (don’t
look !) chaos: quickening / his sandal waters
leavings of his food & no place empty of it –  
help for dead or thin like slice of ruby egg he
follows bones of storms & poisons morning

Last updated 26 April, 2006