new zealand electronic poetry centre


Kendrick Smithyman

online works

If I Stepped Outside, in May 93


If I stepped outside there would be no light to surprise
           my body making demands.
Without given notice rain surprises, rain tilts headlong
into fall, past rata, past silvery gum, oleander, Norfolk pine,
a few minutes filling spaces which may wait on apology;
they want light at the moment.      


                                      I crouch in my cave   
under the house, basement solitary. Anachronist,
on the look out: it cannot be like this downtown in the city.
Mirrorglass towers squinting all ways into themselves
discover they are heartless, at best coldhearted,
never forthright, only arrogant. Darkness at noon.


Who will expect a veil of a temple to be rent,
the money makers driven out? Showers lacking any winds
           to play at motives
give up and go away. We simply guess at what happens
between one investment opportunity and its others
as their murk, pulsing, stands brightened.
Market reports are broadcast, stocks look good
for those with a knowledgeable eye. Nothing goes
visibly traded between pine, lemon and silver dollar.
When I go outside light flows, pure enterprise.


From Last Poems (The Holloway Press, 2002)


Last updated 12 December, 2002