new zealand electronic poetry centre


 Capital of  the minimal
B i l l  S e w e l l


What they say
in the South
is cut short
or itís a waste of breath.

Silence has a word
for most things;
if not, a grunted
syllable will do.

If anything talks
itís their fishing-rods
their twenty-twos
their blistered feet.

You see them sometimes
on the screen
perplexed by cheesewrappers
and progress.

Their smile
is a slow and reluctant
folding: in case it upsets
the expression.

For their faces
are like mountainsides
prone to erosion
if provoked.

Their physiognomy
and that of the South
agree: that nothing
should be made easy.

ES,PP, 1998]


© The Estate of Bill Sewell 2004


Last updated 10 July, 2004