Which God?

God who walks in the cool of the evening in the Garden?

God who enjoys the perfumed dusk and the revelation of the stars?

Or God who punishes the descendants’ descendants for the crimes

of their fathers?  (The one who flooded the Earth in a holocaust.)

Which one are you going to sing songs of praise for?

Singing songs for cells imperfectly formed.

Praising him – beyond comprehension – for incomprehensible things.

Or thanking him for a mind that understands that life is a puzzle –

one about pain, one about love –

which it has no capacity to solve.



How to write a poem in Rarotonga

Describe the faltering bi-plane flight of the dragonfly.

Describe the sound of the night between the roosters and reef

or tyres slashing through puddles on the ring road.

Explain Christianity.  Explain Tangaroa and mist on the mountains.

Compare here with anywhere else; anywhere else with here.

Contrast the same.

To what extent are you true to an identity you cannot define?

To what extent: Island Nights for tourist cash in a Christian nation

in a rising sea?

If Tangaroa was a myth who is Jesus Christ to the Rarotongan?

If the reef is over-topped what is the island to the ocean?

What, if any, are the underlying themes?

Describe the scent of frangipani.

Describe the desire to sail beyond the horizon,

or the purpose of the sea.

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.