new zealand electronic poetry centre


Albert Wendt

online works

Summer Wedding

(for Sina & Johnny)


I sit in our backyard shade      drinking
ice-cold beer and the sun suspended in it
Everytime I put down my glass
the emperor sun is reborn in the liquid -
an embryo cauled in fire      a Van Gogh
sunflower      the succulent yellow of kina

Along the backfence a peach tree
a gum tree      creepers and ponga
six cicadas: two in the peach
three in the gum tree      one in the creepers
I count them by their different songs

All week my son and I have weeded
the flower beds      trimmed the hedges
mowed the lawns      raked and swept
watered the young pohutukawa we planted
after Christmas in the far corner of the yard.

Last night      in my sleep      the fullmoon
wore a necklace of tabua above
Maungawhau and our city of black glass
Maungakiekie's face was a moko
of green fire      (The volcanoes died long ago)

Our home and yard are as neat
as the cicadas' celebrating chorus
ready for Sina's wedding tomorrow
I keep drinking the sun to that 
Sina       ia manuia le lua aiga!


Albert Wendt


Last updated 11 May 2001