new zealand electronic poetry centre


Graham Lindsay

online works

Green Island

In the quiet weekday suburb of Green Island
someone in a garage hammering away
a photographer with time in hand, passing by
stops short before a silent brick bungalow
dazzled by its eave
the backdrop is a vista of hinterland
against the blare of sun’s particles
nebulous distance and a plain of orange sky
stretching back over Central
voices issue through the wind’s white noise
a couple straight out of the Fifties are taking leave of each other
the man striding round his car to the suicide door
the skirted woman skipping down her driveway
into the sun-bleached air
three scant children come into the picture
playing on trikes and carts sweeping out into the roadway
theirs are the last children’s sounds
on the side of the suburb
(across the valley families pose beside a deepening fissure
the hill a mudstone skid with the chocks kicked out)
the photographer takes a shot (‘Vision of the Post-War Madonna’)
and climbs above the houses into farmland
walking along plateau-top lanes with dusty hawthorn hedgerows
the sun flaring as though through dark glasses
glancing off the flaxen grass
to a view of the sea
dust and spray commingling above the margin.


From Big Boy (Auckland: AUP, 1986)
© Graham Lindsay

Last updated 23 December, 2003