new zealand electronic poetry centre

J E S S I C A   L E   B A S

blind man’s bluff


he would if she could
watch the way the waves turn, ride rodeo
a strait of restless sleepers
a routine beauty made stark by the meaning of island
of heartland

he would if she could
his hand on the stern riding latitude
in padded jackets like winter seals
where the trough is an unwound world, the crest a serpent’s spine
a sublime sea

where white caps like rivets
hold the sea down, and a twist of steel bucks
rides one pleat, one tuck of southern tide
cloud as full as sails

he leaves one note on a cusp of wind
a single key, his bow bereft and bilious
terns with scissor wings, cut the corner of her eye

says he would if she could
take the turn in the road and be gone, inside out
and blue like a silver fish.


April 2006



When he comes to the cross roads at Omarama
the yellow hills down to the yellow grass, to the yellow road
and the wind in his throat a yellow word
another straight road goes quiet

steps slow to the café stained lively and anything gone
the brown bent cocky leads the oven on, a hot hell’s day
where a woman’s eyes frisk him for seven fifty
and a glass with a fistful of crazy stars, all out

outside his red ute waits, straining its suspension
six hefty ewes nudge the cage, and still the road south
the white light fading, their eyes, cats black on the centre line
hyphenated and waiting.


April 2006

Last updated 27 April, 2006