Taking my daughter to school in autumn (and 20 March 2019)

On the trees the leaves which once burst open,

each one a miracle, stiffen, and evenings quicken

eager to slip the day and roam the night, to take by

the throat, to bare teeth and nuzzle the rotting,

fecund things that summer has shed and left and spent.


And when the sun comes again in the morning – to warm

and lift the earth’s scent, to harvest the dew for the clouds

and coax us from out of ourselves back to this bent, soiled

world, this rent world – it comes with diminished strength:  

ailing; a disappointing and faltering ascent from the night.


I will admit the joy of it: of taking my daughter’s hand;

the sun’s strengthening stand; the children’s voices ringing

high, and singing from playgrounds, and classrooms.  Singing

“I love, I hurt, I laugh, I cry”.  But I know the darkness too.

The gloom, the night light, and the circadian unanswerable why.

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I wrote a book called Kaitiaki o te Pō