Unleash the power of poetry

‘…I want to write a poem

                        like an impetuous kiss;
                        a poem like a sloth,
                        reaching for the last jungle branch
                        before the plantation begins…’

These lines from I want to write a poem, are from one of the two new poems by David, posted here for Poetry Day 2020. 'Clocks, Calendars, Nights, Days' is a recently revised version of the poem of the same name which appeared in David’s 2015 poetry collection The Conch Trumpet.

Thanks David, and more power to poets and poetry out there on poetry day. And every day.

 – Peter Ireland, National Library

Team Spirit

Cook Strait narrows and widens what we see.
Some possum tail curls into a quivery koru.
Moa bones assembled dissemble their origins.
The combed-over snow flurries off bare slopes.
Flickers of eyelids open on eyes bright
as new nailheads in rusty sheet iron.
We raise our phones till they vibrate in unison,
we save our bungy jumps for a mega-upload.
He's done decent time; he was once dog tucker,
and he's exited still breathing, but she was beaut
in an oil skin parka, out in the storm;
so then and there we all came through, more or
less as ordered, good as the apteryx.
The rains ravish ravines till wet slopes slip,
the back row rips it from the ruck in a rush.
Boots sink in mosses soft as rabbit fur.
At Skyscraper Park, they release the owls
to rouse bats that roost in the wrong places.
A good clean ball has been fed to the scrum,
they responded with oodles of niggle.
Lugged from Luggate to the Land of Mordor,
plucked from the maul, he legs it over to score.
That bloody go-getter's upping the ante,
squinnies into the wind, then steps backwards,
runs forward to pot the pill between posts.
Ball's lobbed to line-out, like an apple
with a grub inside thrown at the mongrel
worrying a sheep carcass to say, get lost.
A maggoty young barfly springs skywards
with the apocalyptic strength of ten.
Greasy ball moved fast as a passing glance,
a butterfly slides sideways in the breeze.
There's ample time to get a kick away.
The insider's insider receives ball, takes a punt,
follows like a hunting dog that's bailed a wild boar.
He's taken down, the ball's a headless chook
under the arm of a legless thinker.
A shoulder charge in a crowded beer barn
knocks wool from heads, brushes tea-tree from hair.
He's shaky as a lean-to in a southerly,
offers fifteen ways of saying, really?
Now ant turns antic and slug turns sluggard;
a try's been converted in extra time,
under doleful eyes of the losing side.

— David Eggleton

Clocks, Calendars, Nights, Days

Bitterness of bees dying out,
honeyless clouds, forest drought,
lights red, yellow, charcoal’s grain,
eyes smarting from a world on fire,
air thick with grit; cleave to it.
By clocks, calendars, nights, days.

Bog cotton frenzy of winter
dances erasure over hills,
leaf-litter's corrected by snow;
fog's quick to swallow the sea,
then start in on the shore.
By clocks, calendars, nights, days.

Skerricks of twigs skim high,
flung far from grips of fists;
remember to dip your bucket
deep into the morning sun,
but don’t drown in apathy.
By clocks, calendars, nights, days.

So, down in the earth’s mouth,
a slow song about the rain,
as you heave from the dark
to hear a thunderous beat
drumming on the old tin roof.
By clocks, calendars, nights, days.

By fast, by slow, by high, by deep;
by song, by dance, by laugh, by sleep;
by climb, by fall, by jump, by walk;
by chance, by breath, by cry, by talk;
by clocks, calendars, nights, days.
By clocks, calendars, nights, days.

— David Eggleton

I Want to Write a Poem

I want to write a poem
                        the colour of paracetamol,
                        the colour of Pinot Noir.
I want to write a poem
                        like an impetuous kiss;
                        a poem like a sloth,
                        reaching for the last jungle branch
                        before the plantation begins.
I want to write a poem
                        like a tight-rope walker
                        between the Twin Towers,
                        lit up by the rays of another sun
                        and a heavenly host of planets,
                        announcing God is great.
I want to write a poem
                        like a box kite,
                        a poem like a blue sky day,
                        a poem like a nor'wester in summer.
I want to write a poem
                        like a rusted car wreck,
                        like a collapsed bridge,
                        like a random punch,
                        like a sly foot-tap,
                        like a Māori haka,
                        like a fresh death mask,
                        like peel-off future proofing,
                        like the smile of a stolen girlfriend,
                        like the scent of Adieu Sagesse,
                        like gravestones, like time-bombs,
                        fractal geometry, orchestra tom-toms.
I want to write a poem
                        like the twilight zone,
                        like righteous incarceration,
                        like the steady pit-pat of the rain.

— David Eggleton

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