Monday, June 08, 2009


He takes his place on the metal-legged chair
back to the fire, face to the still-sleeping 

mountains. Dawn and a weeping wall of windows* blur 
the outlines of silence and speech, a naked

silver gum. I wonder - are years of unyielding 
weather or the passing glissandi of solemnity 

and mirth accountable for truth
in an older man's bones? 


Moved by snow, a rising squall, the magician 
shifts in his chair; with a click
of his fingers, he ushers harbour, sky and volcanic hills 
in. Trickster! Ah, but window cleaner, too; he rubs sleep 

from our eyes, tenderly mops the brow 
of the staunch old school room, shows us how 

a soggy tea-towel authoritatively wielded can be 
more useful by far than top-hat, incense or wand; with a flick
of his wrist - thwick, thwick - he renders the horizon free 
of streaks, the gum tree light, no longer leaning in 

or out of focus; of subtler consequence now the hidden veins 
of dark, the unnamed worlds beyond the glass.  

Banks Peninsula - June 2009

*In NZ, the term 'weeping windows' (or 'crying windows') refers to a situation in which excessive condensation trapped inside a building results in water running down the panes of glass thereby obscuring the occupants' vision.     


  1. When all becomes clarity. Those are magical moments.

  2. In your opinion, does magical also = fleeting, Aq. Aye? This sometimes seems to be the way with clarity; it has an elusive, ephemeral, temporary quality to it, the way it appears then disappears only to reappear in some other guise further down the track. One way or another, we'd best stay up on tippy toes!

  3. Hmmmm, Claire, nice question. Yes, these moments are often far too evanescent. For all that, it seems likely that clarity accretes, wouldn't you say, until, as we become more and more attentive, we can be called truly awake. I don't know what the quality of magic would be at that point, since I am much farther from this enlightenment than yourself or, for sure, your magician. But I suspect there is a quality of wonder in awakeness that far surpasses even the inspired vision you captured in your poem. Namaste.

  4. Magician yourself, Claire. That poem! That photo! (I'm home, too, brow wiped a little clearer. P)