The poet’s process

Tea. Pensive window. Looking and looking and looking and Oh! Tuis in a tree. Multiple tuis in a Kowhai tree. Heart swelling with the song and maybe I could find it, that prolonged hesitation between words and meaning, the way to express the sound and the pretty pretty picture, maybe I could –

No, it’s been done, a million times, don’t do it, don’t be that girl, don’t be that writer –
but it’s just that they’re so –
The flora and fauna,
the heritage the history the ancestral inheritance of dirt
(the garden path, my cup of tea)
(Fuck the fucking landscape)

Just look at them, hopping and hanging upside down. They are –
fat? well, yes. drunken? better. Bristling fat gentlemen, their melodic arguments punctuated by drunken choking noises? Well, it’s realistic.

And there! Wood pigeons! (I should call them kereru because of the heritage and the history and the ancestral inheritance of dirt). Are they not just – No, resist. They are also drunken and rolling, their eyes peering wildly from whiplash necks. They do not argue but lurch into uneven flight like a pair of corpulent inebriated squatters.

Resist! Nothing obvious, no clichés. Their white feathers are not handkerchiefs or napkins or gentlemen’s neatly tied cravats. They could be whores’ heaving breasts? They could be the chest of a 17 year old solider before the scarlet bloom of bullets begins. Perhaps I will find the mutilated corpse discarded on the path, that perfect ivory coffer gnawed open and left cavernous by neighbourhood cats, a degustation for ants.

Is that my purpose? To wonder, to see the beauty in the banal and the horrific?

Beyond the rolling hills clothed in creeping Nikau palms the city sleeps in suburban ignorance (oh, god, alliteration? must you? I must). The bush heaves in; the roots push up through the cracks. (What I mean of course is that my roots show through my cracks).

The cup of tea is cold and the dawn parade (I mean chorus. No, I mean parade) is over.

The battle in the garden continues. The roots through the path, the Tuis to continue their drunken clasp to the growing trees, the cat who watches them, the ants’ slow procession of flesh.

My heritage my history my ancestral inheritance of dirt.

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