‘Long Easter Weekend’ and ‘Anzac Day Thunder’

Long Easter Weekend

Some face Easter by hunting a stag bull,
with cupped hands and cooees to the cull.
Others lift apple windfall to a barrel.
Big wax combs drip the last of the vernal
honey, the altars are covered with purple.
A clean syringe kill, nails in the gnarls
of crucified churls, a dish of buns to startle
those nested in texts at the kitchen table.
The equinox gets up its howl and rattle.
Deicide brings the hanging Jesus to dwell
on the tree of man; while Māui's van signals
the way to Moeraki, or to deep-sounding bell.

As gods rise from the ferment of brine,
a carved wave ploughs a pure line.
Diadems shine in cobwebs at sunrise,
wool floss is bright, caught by barbed wire.
Yesterday's wisps fly on the breeze of today,
the blue sky transmits holy oracles.
Sunlight reveals everywhere a miracle.
The bedroom window opens out from the sill.
Back lawn is dappled by lepidoptera,
grey clouds gather like butterfly hunters.
Brewed nectar in the first sip to thrill,
thereafter bitter ichor all the way down.

 — David Eggleton

Anzac Day Thunder

Fields of blood flood Sunday's sky,
enough to paint the town red,
over Dunedin's Dawn Parade,
and thoughts turn to Gallipoli,
carved by trenches where Anzacs
dug themselves in, and Otago's
D. Skinner took a potshot
at Kemal Ataturk on horseback
but only creased his hair or somesuch
in the War to End All Wars.
And now autumn continues
unseasonable, dry leaves orange
above fluorescent road cones.
We ride by bike out to Port Chalmers,
to ride by boat across the harbour,
while a distempered gale stirs the sea.
A half-past-it flag snaps to attention,
as Rachel, skipper of MV
Sootychaser, grasps our bikes
and lifts each into the stern, then we're
motoring past Quarantine Island,
butting waves to the Peninsula,
as the sky darkens thunderous black,
lit up by muzzle flashes.
Raindrops squirm down the windscreen
of the vessel, like a giant's drool.
Through razzle-dazzle we thud and buffet.
In the distance, small yachts vanish
Fast clouds scud, throwing threads of water
that gleam like tears of the albatross.
A rainbow shawl arches Harbour Cone,
there's a ghost of feathery snowfall
from vortex of hail-studded heaven,
as we wallow against Broad Bay jetty,
drawn up close by the skill of the skipper.
Soused tangles of wrack and kelp
spangle like submerged poppy garlands.
Haloed by sunshower rain-arrows,
past hill humps of Portobello,
under thunderstorm's indigo,
we are cycling through gale wallow
all the way to Pukekura,
home of the albatross colony
on a bluff hooked like a bird's beak.
There, the southern royals veer
and dip or tilt in windshear,
to swoop and soar as gliders,
while we twist and turn from flying grit
and hustle inside the café,
looking to blunt the edge of the wind.
Select your slipstream, ride your
clobbering machine like a port
container straddle-carrier
with traction of a sky-sailor,
and catch your breath from teeth of the gale
Lifted by the swell of the land,
we cycle back round the harbour
that's rucking against the wind's force.
The road's a groove carved above the shore,
where in summer a tide of red krill
bloomed like a harvest of red petals.
Now in evening light the sky clears,
but the southerly still funnels
relentlessly over the flat strand
of South Dunedin, while the sea
wreathes and unwreathes, stained
crimson by the reflected sun.


— David Eggleton

No comments: