posted by Michele
FROM poppies and plane trees

two nights ago we missed
a question about a cricket team
we called them the Immortals
they were the Invincibles    the difference
between undying and unconquerable
mori et vincere    we were close
but we were not perfect    the question
slipped between two possibilities
a good guess and much on our minds
the question of mortality
where we are going when we’re going
to the island between sea and sky
cerulean a word I liked a lot less
when I learned where the emphasis went

now we look ahead
from the deck where the sound of doves
carries through the trees    what
are their names    have they always
made this flight between possibilities
hanging on tight to a perch
that might be a globe or a prow
or the start of a seedhead that falls
whump onto the roof in autumn
we journey we are lost and found
over under behind around
preposition proposition no position
so clear as the conversation
of the department of conversation
on a day-trip forever to come

the soft red wine
with the beautiful name    big funnels
and two notes on a French horn
to clear a way through the sails
of the five o’clock races    a child
waving about in the tree-tops
the dog snoring under my feet
in one head is a winged victory
in one hand a stick that bounces chisels
filled with strangeness
we begin the simultaneous paths
scent of picked basil extending
delicately through a notebook
making for the front gate    heat
under salted water coming
to the boil    and the curious weight
of granite hollowed for a stone pestle
holding on tight to the world

Michele Leggott
Forthcoming in The Centre for NZ Studies Bulletin.

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