square of earth – I

Square of Earth

In ancient Chinese cosmology the earth was symbolised by a square and heaven by a circle.  Each of these four pieces ( ‘corner songs’ I call them) in the ‘Square of Earth’ represent an emotional variation on the theme of my leaving Beijing after living there 13 years to return to New Zealand. They also reflect my taking the moods of any leaving as simply a rehearsal for the great final departure.

Square of Earth – I
this is the corner song of feigned indifferenceFobidden_City_Anja_Pietsch

The northwest corner tower and moat of The Forbidden City, with acknowledgements to the photographer, Anja Pietsch, for use of this image posted on Wikiwand.

dry well

no time
no room
to give a telling
of all i fell
into under
ran up against
put my head
right through
in this dry
dusty place
a city of
forgotten wells
and murder
under bricks*
a town of
the willow along
still water
a town with
its back to
the wall and
the angry
riders beyond
i tug on the
root i’ve grown
into this earth
Continue reading “square of earth – I”

just say

just say
for Keikei

just say
Just drop it in the morning casually now, no drama ….  scene staged by the Weathercats

just say
‘i dreamed
of you’
nothing more
nothing awkward
to floor me
knock yourself
silly as well,
an ‘i like you’
‘you’re neat’,
just say
that you
of me
as if by
and i’ll
light up
and it’ll
be a
Continue reading “just say”

souda bay

                                souda bay
to the shade of a New Zealand soldier at Souda Bay, Crete*
Souda Bay 1983, february 2016 & revised 2018.  The historic setting of this piece is the Second World War Battle of Crete

Ζήτω η Κρήτη, ζήτω ο κρητικός λαός
Long live Crete, long live the people of Crete!

Souda Bay War Cemetery, acknowledgements to New Zealand Geographic for use of this image

to say i never knew you
and more, how could i,
much too cold a word
in this place
the slow winnow
of autumn sun
through olive leaves
shadow husks scattered
soft onto dust
the sea fallen still,
to say i never
knew you,
too cold a word
while calling you ‘friend’
would nestle me next
to those who did, your
mates in the same company
your brothers, sister
yet ‘friend’ it must be
Continue reading “souda bay”

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