new zealand electronic poetry centre

M I C H E L E   L E G G O T T

hello and goodbye

there is a path that climbs
out of sleep with clear notes
on five fingers
blown across sweet grassy
plains     there is no holding
them they move like the wind
over your sleeping face
which knows where it has been
and why it must remember
the path that climbs
out of sleep and into the green
heartstring morning
vibrato the bell in the throat
the ball in the whistle when it’s low
and your breath is the slow bounce
of ropes that braid and twist
and hold up the floating planet
as if by magic    
tremolo a fibrillation of the air
and its concertos better even
than a neighbour deciding between
harpsichord and salt fish
running through his fingers
and over the dark garden to where
we’re walking along
looking for the sound
of a word so deep in theft
its adventures have hardly begun
delirium     lady
in Illyria with a lily he calls
Elysium     the newly alighted angel’s
lineal poise     lirio what would you
on her silver tomb lirica
the white notebook up against
the red wall the black words
going on into the light   
lady I am negative wingspan
in Illyria and he is
Elysium     a lily a lyric
a white delirium
I saw you, you were
a minim wraith of silver light
the day moon a figure
on the road the blue moon
resurrected     sister lucy gone
to heaven in her silver boat
grass ghosts beginning to sing
and you on the spiral road
when I walk                sea waves
as I turn                        glass mallets
and turn again             wind chimes
sleeping with the last track
climbing the stairs      in the dark
I wait and wait
and the weight of waiting
is impossible     cicadas shrill
above the cricket boys  
over the daughter chorus    
that pearly necklace
I’m looking for in all the stations
on the way to Ocean City
Go with Eros     it’s plain as day
a mob of arboreal lorikeets
another kind of whistle
for the chorus
chiasmos comes and goes
thiasos is my east
my new looking my ghost
along the spiral road
looking up
from the dark garden
I see the vision of the boat
sailing in the sky
Fra Angelico’s room and nobody
left behind     no one missing
out on its mother of pearl ceilings
I cannot bear the pain
liths of orange     what does it mean?
liths of orange roughy on
a big white plate
life and limb     kith and kin   
lift us into heaven tonight
forgetting remembering
Konai’s grandiflora words
a bowl of cool air anticipating
the sun in its pisces pool climbing
the walls and the towers
waiting for the words
the silver mirror spirals
here now always
the lovers in the fountain
oblivious beginning
their two fish kiss
and sister lucy in her boat
skimming up the hill

First published in The Capillano Review 2.46 (Feb 2006).

Last updated 28 April, 2006