new zealand electronic poetry centre

Jenny Bornholdt

online works

(Feel the doughnut)

The child, too, names
everything, wants to take hold
of language, in the same way that
he tries to pick the pattern up
off the carpet.
We describe everything
find ourselves explaining
it’s a tree
it’s green and grows
in the ground.
There are leaves in the washing,
dominoes in the garden, a dream
adrift on the bathroom floor.
Sometimes there’s a dog.
Worn out by narration, we let our hair
go – he looks like Jim Bolger, me
like Suzie Quatro.

Pears serious
on the table.
We eat ham sandwiches
made from leaves, there’s jam
in the bed and milk
cool against your leg.
You turn on the radio and hear
It’s really just a matter of
getting Jesus and the disciples

across the road.
If only it was that
simple. Instead you watch
men work on it – whole days
spent in the company of concrete mixers
and bulldozers,
their comings and goings punctuated
by men walking
for the good
of their hearts.
There’s a man who knows
the wind speeds of storms,
gales and cyclones. Another
whose astronomer father
seduced him with pictures of
night skies lying around
the house. This son photographed
the sun as the moon, the afternoon
turning to evening before
his eyes.

Here there’s a new moon
on the horizon – this landscape
he makes. Your heart and lungs
a lawn he might
play upon.
On the other side of the hill there’s
Greta, newly-born. A greeting
or sign of gratitude. Her black hair
lively punctuation,
her tiny wrists.

Wake to find another moon
still serene in the sky
just to the left
of the flagpole.
Hey, what’s that big
marble up there?

It’s fading quietly
over next door’s shaggy
fig, over lavender,
over the child’s morning hair
which resembles the sea
skiffled by wind, over our new
friends – knitted man and mr bunny,
over a semaphore of
pigeons in the valley and over
a sign inviting come in, rest
and pray       yes, yes, we say and
god bless the nesting
farm animals.


From These Days (VUP, 2005)

Jenny Bornholdt

Last updated 16 February, 2005