Faithful to You, Te Tarahaka o Kaimatau

1 December 2013

Though the clouds fled from your armpits
in spectacular foggy spirals, he gave me red dust

compacted and thrust above the curved earth. Below
I saw the Early Ones warm their hands over fire

offering up babies wrapped in skin and blood;
I saw dingos and camels and dust. When I returned

you showed me the folds of your cloak, olives
gingers and greys slain with purple gashes. I fell among

the prickly matagouri that smelt of pink and tea
and woke in communion with a white gentian.

I stayed with you and named your parts: turpentine,
tussock, scree, kea, karearea, odonata zealandica,

who, in-spite-of my efforts, flit irretrievable incandescent
over the braids of the Deception.

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