new zealand electronic poetry centre


Bob Orr

online works

Sugar Boat

The black sugar boat
across the bay
beneath the chains of Chelsea
we saw it from the other side of town
moored up by the refinery. We were sitting
on the hard steps of a jetty in Herne Bay. The waves
kept coming in a yellow crust
of cool volcanic moon
flew up above the
      We were close
to breaking up. We could only see ourselves
through images. The jetty was adrift.
in jagged light. A dark wind was blowing in on us.
I saw you as I never had before . . . as you
swam slowly towards your freedom
as the phosphorescent sea
became the tail of a mermaid
between your feet
as I kept turning
& as a black sugar boat
                                    across the bay was burning.

Bob Orr

Last updated 11 May 2001