new zealand electronic poetry centre


Kendrick Smithyman

online works


Above Albany, along the hill road
departing from the main highway
contractors’ trucks press to the site
of the new prison, of maximum security.

In failing afternoon broken glass
flickers, an unconsuming fire
where, rusting, beaten by wind and rain,
the wreckers’ acres – cars, trucks, wagons –
browse over slopes feigning to progress
downhill slowly. Inarticulate monsters,
they are herded together. Week by week
they ease towards a valley. Darkness
gets there sooner. They seek the road.

They are entirely public. Not one escapes.
When you drive that way, you look up at them
furtively. You look away. They are dead
metaphors in your sentence.

Earthquake Weather. AUP 1972, p. 36.



Last updated 11 May 2001