Academic journal article Hecate

Splitting the Stone / under Threat / to an Old Flame

Academic journal article Hecate

Splitting the Stone / under Threat / to an Old Flame

Article excerpt

SPLITTING THE STONE (for John)

You brought back carefully, nervously A heavy grey boulder From that other beach Up north--The place I call home When I feel inclined--A narrow iron strip Between land and sea With several old battlefields Close by And a guardian mountain.

On a clear day If you are lucky And really quick You may see him Even from here, A small opal cone On a blue horizon Northwest of Kapiti.

And then As I had dreamed The night before, You started to make According to instructions A flax pounder Like the Old Ones Used to use--(Some can still be found With other missing things In various museums)

Striking stone on stone Carefully, patiently While I kept away As I knew I should Waiting for the stone To split As I knew it would And let the Mauri through.

And after Your amazed silence I watched you set to, Forgetting the pounder And all those Sad museum pieces, And made instead Like the Old Ones used to A stone dwelling For the newcomer--A place to call home When he feels inclined-

Carving it Steel on stone Carefully, lovingly In his image So the world will know It is meant for him And him only.

And when it was finished You stood there In the small space between The roses and the taupata, Heavy grey rain Soaking through your clothes And the pores of your skin, And look in wonder At what you had done, Nursing a bruised hand.

UNDER THREAT (for Janet)

I do not remember the purpose Of your call, only you telling me So lightly, almost gaily The last stroke of luck Could fall any time. Whether good luck or bad--Depending on how it strikes you--Will make no difference, All interpretations, options Schedules, being withdrawn On the last page, except acceptance. …

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